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Amazon tests video ads in its mobile search results

Tim Maytom

With advertisers spending increasing amounts of money in Amazon's growing advertising business, the firm is looking for ways to expand its range of ad products, and the latest innovation is video advertising within its mobile search results.

The mobile video ads are currently in a limited beta test, and while the product has only just been announced, Amazon has reportedly been in lengthy dicussions with the ad industry since the middle of July about launching ads within its mobile search results.

The format, called 'Video in Search', is limited to 90 second video ads that contain audio, with ads shown below the fold in search results. Links within the ads must drive shoppers either to a product page, a custom landing page or an Amazon Store, all within Amazon's ecosystem, and will only be seen by users browsing Amazon on iOS devices during the trial.

The beta test, which requires an ad budget of $35,000 (£27,500) or more to participate in, will involve some of Amazon's biggest advertisers including Procter & Gamble and home furnishings firm Lamps Plus. Ads are sold by Amazon's in-house sales team, the Amazon Media Group, who also sell video ads on Amazon properties like IMDB.com and Twitch.

Amazon's search function dominates product search on the internet, accounting for around 50 per cent of consumers' first product searches. Ads within its mobile search results could prove invaluable for both direct-response campaigns and brand awareness for companies that already see high revenues through Amazon sales.

The introduction of mobile search ads also indicates Amazon is taking mobile more seriously. The firm has struggled to make effective use of the reduced screen size of mobile, with just 20 per cent of its US ad revenue coming from mobile-only buys during H1 2018, accoridng to analysis by Standard Media Index.

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