Amazon miniTV Stick for In-App Video Ads
The ad-supported premium content offering on Amazon’s shopping app was launched in India about a year ago.
In May 2021, Amazon introduced a free, ad-supported video streaming service on its shopping app in India – miniTV. The e-commerce giant has since partnered with content creators, like Ashish Chanchlani and Prajakta Koli, as well as production houses like Pocket Aces and TVF.
Its latest launch is Toh Banta Hai Case, an audience comedy series. Amazon Advertising Manager Girish Prabhu Talks FAQs! on the value miniTV brings to advertisers and more.
What prompted you to launch the mini TV in India?
The way people consume content is changing. With the Covid-19 pandemic, and even before that, regimens shifted to a lot of individualized monitoring; whether on phones, tablets or other devices.
The other trend we’ve noticed is that many of our customers around the world are increasing free entertainment on top of their subscriptions. Amazon Prime Video is one example.
We deliver 99% of Indian PIN codes and have an engaged customer base. So why not offer entertainment to this clientele?
Users enter the shopping application with the intent to purchase. Doesn’t entertainment also risk distracting them?
Our main principle is customer choice. Customers come with the intention of shopping, but with Pay and miniTV we have seen that customers are open to other experiences.
We have customers who come to miniTV to watch a particular show that we are promoting. And, we’ve seen patterns of re-engagement with content. For example, there are customers who come at certain times of the day to watch the miniTV.
How will the shopping app of the future be different from what we have today?
I will not be able to comment on user experience on Amazon purchases in the future. On the miniTV side, we are working on innovations to provide personalized and interactive content. The element of personalization can open doors for new experiences.
Another area of focus is giving our customers the ability to engage with brands in a more native way. You could imagine new formats along these lines.
Amazon has become much more than shopping, and that’s what we’re passionate about. Hence the reason to keep building things like Amazon Payments, miniTV and so on.
How can brands take advantage of miniTV?
There are sponsorships, for example, Noise and Campus are the sponsors of Amazon’s latest miniTV show Toh Banta Hai case.
We work closely with production houses to create original content. So it gives us the opportunity to work with brands to bring meaningful experiences to our customers. Our primary goal is to deliver immersive experiences to our advertising partners.
We do not yet offer benefits to consumers when they watch shows, in terms of coupons or points. However, over a period of time, we will imagine new experiences for our customers. Our goal is to make the experience more native to the content. We invest in bringing new advertising products to brands.
From a video advertising perspective, the mini TV is going to be a very important experience for brands.
Do you plan to introduce miniTV in other emerging markets like India?
We already have a similar ad-supported experience in the US and UK under the Amazon FreeVee brand. It is very popular in these markets. So, yes, it’s a format that we take very seriously. We’re seeing a lot of exciting engagements and opportunities to bring new content to customers on the shopping app and living room devices, such as Fire TV and the mobile web experience.
We believe that this model is very relevant, not only in India, but also in the world.
There is a heavy focus on comedy content on miniTV. What genres and formats of content do you invest in?
We have a very strong roster and work across different genres, comedy being one of them. We have at least 6-7 genres that we are experimenting with. These are genres that appeal to the target audience, which is in the 18-34 age bracket.
We have short format content, 20 to 30 minute short films and web series on miniTV. Short films, for example, are actually a very popular category on miniTV. These short films have very good achievement rates. We are happy that different formats work and that the same customer watching a short film can also watch a series.
We’ve noticed that customers come back every week to watch episodes on a shopping app. This is both surprising and unsurprising, as the Amazon shopping app is practically a part of many people’s daily lives.