Ad-supported video reaches over 120 million viewers a month

Jaap Arriens | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Amazon said Monday its ad-supported streaming video content now reaches more than 120 monthly users every month. 

The company said this is up from 20 million monthly viewers of that content in January 2020. Twitch is one main driver of the growth — although Amazon acquired the company in 2014, it only recently added ad inventory on Twitch to its programmatic advertising platform, whereas inventory previously had to be bought more manually. Twitch is best known as a platform where video gamers stream their gameplay live to large audiences.

Other ad-supported video content from Amazon includes live sports like “Thursday Night Football,” IMDb TV, third-party apps and Amazon’s News apps. The figure of monthly users refer to U.S. viewers that watched Amazon’s ad-supported over-the-top content on any device.

The company is coming off of a hot earnings report for its ads business: Amazon’s “Other” unit, which is primarily made up of advertising but also includes sales related to other service offerings, grew revenue 77% year over year to more than $6.9 billion in Q1, the company reported on Thursday.

Amazon made the announcement ahead of its first-ever presentation at the IAB NewFronts. The spring NewFronts are digital media’s take on the traditional TV upfronts, when advertisers have traditionally committed a large amount of their yearly TV spending. During the NewFronts, online publishers, platforms and other companies host presentations and parties to show off their programming, audience data and tools to media buyers. 

A late 2020 report from eMarketer said YouTube, Hulu and Roku CTV ad revenues represent about half of all U.S. CTV ad revenues. Of the remaining half, they said a large chunk likely goes to Amazon with its apps on the Fire TV operating system as well as on IMDb TV. 

The e-commerce giant opened up about some of its brand advertising initiatives at the IAB’s annual leadership meeting in March. Its VP of Global Ad Sales Alan Moss said that with a slate of IMDb TV originals launching this year, it would be offering product integration and branded content opportunities to help advertisers “authentically align their brand with cultural moments and genre themes.” 

The company plans to launch a standalone app for IMDb TV on Android and iOS devices this summer. Amazon said Monday that IMDb TV has seen a 138% increase in viewership year-over-year, and that 62% of viewers are between the ages of 18 to 49. It says viewers of the service spend an average of five and a half hours per week watching it. 

The company also announced a slew of new content for IMDb TV. Amazon said Monday it will begin streaming “Thursday Night Football” games exclusively beginning in 2022, after previously announcing it would begin exclusively streaming games in 2023.

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