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Could Amazon be making a move into ad-supported content with UK first Premier League deal?

Amazon has announced that between the 3rd – 5th and 26th – 27th December this year, Amazon Prime will be exclusively showing all English Premier League football matches. The deal means Amazon will stream 10 games on Boxing Day, as well as 10 during midweek fixtures in December through its Amazon Prime content service.

This isn’t Amazon’s first move into live sports streaming, but this time they will be running ads in the breaks. Differing from traditional broadcasters, there will be significantly fewer ad breaks during the matches, with Amazon averaging only 13 minutes per game. They are trading this as 30” spots, similar to most popular TV ad length, but it is non-clickable, unlike other video on demand (VOD) activity. The games are tiered with the top tier games reaching a £45 cost per thousand (CPM) – considerably higher than broadcast VOD (BVOD) CPMs which generally sit around the £30 mark.

Amazon themselves are aware that many users will just utilise the month free trial to watch the games, however, it is thought that around 70% of people who sign up for the free trial will go on to pay for at least another month. Is this Amazon’s first step into introducing paid ads to Prime Video, or just a route to gain more members?

All Response Media viewpoint
It’s clear that digital formats are being utilised to deliver more live sports content, with Facebook already partnering with the NFL on its watch content and Twitter having streaming rights over multiple US sports.

Amazon’s partnership provides the opportunity to increase reach for advertisers. However, with shorter ad breaks, higher costs compared to TV/BVOD and restricted measurability compared to other digital platforms, this route into live sports advertising may not be suitable for all clients; particularly those that are direct response focused.

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