Amazon Prime Video showcases new content at first-ever Upfront presentation

The news: Amazon Prime Video hosted its first upfront show for advertisers in New York, showcasing its original series, movies, and sports content. Some of the streaming service’s biggest stars were on hand to share news and promote upcoming projects.

  • The event took place at Pier 36 in Manhattan, where Amazon displayed prominent shows like “Fallout” and “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” movies such as "Road House," and sports programs like “Thursday Night Football.”

Focus on content: Amazon made waves with major announcements before the event, including that Nicolas Cage would star in a live-action Spider-Man series, renewals for “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “The Boys,” and a teaser for the "Cross" series starring Aldis Hodge.

  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge will create a new “Tomb Raider” series, and “The Summer I Turned Pretty” will return in 2025 with more episodes.
  • Amazon also highlighted sports content, including NASCAR coverage and Roger Federer’s documentary "12 Final Days."
  • Additionally, new movies and series like Mark Wahlberg’s "Play Dirty" and a “Legally Blonde” prequel titled “Elle” are coming.

Why it matters: With this being Amazon’s first Upfront, the stakes were high when it came to wooing advertisers.

  • Senior executives Paul Kotas and Mike Hopkins emphasized Amazon’s ambition to become a "one-stop shop" for both viewers and advertisers. Hopkins shared impressive statistics about Prime Video’s reach, noting its 200 million global customers and its position as the largest global ad-supported streaming service.
  • Kotas discussed the company’s strategy to integrate Prime Video’s vast reach with advanced ad technology.
  • Amazon’s substantial revenue growth in advertising is centered around Prime Video. CEO Andy Jassy emphasized the strategy in his recent letter to shareholders, highlighting the success of placing ads within movies and TV shows.
  • The presentation underscored Amazon’s efforts to offer a comprehensive streaming service. Hopkins highlighted Prime Video’s extensive library, which includes third-party services like Max and Crunchyroll, alongside Amazon’s own content.

Our take: Overall, Amazon’s first upfront show demonstrated its commitment to expanding its content offerings and integrating advertising, aiming to attract and retain both viewers and advertisers with a diverse and extensive lineup.

  • The event wasn’t without challenges. It took place at Pier 36 in Manhattan—an out-of- the-way location—and logistical challenges caused the event to begin roughly 40 minutes late.
  • That said, if advertisers are convinced that Amazon’s content slate is powerful—which it seems to be—it’s likely that upfront commitments will help Amazon have a strong year of ad spending.

First Published on May 14, 2024

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