Amazon Prime Video Dips Toe Into Free, Ad-Supported Content

What Happened
Amazon has been steadily building out its OTT streaming service Prime Video with new shows and branded content to compete with Netflix. On Thursday, the streaming service broke new ground by launching its first ad-supported original series. The show, The Fashion Fund, is a 10-episode reality competition series produced by Condé Nast Entertainment. It is free to watch for everyone with no Prime membership required and features some clickable ads that link to the brand’s website or Amazon shopping page.

Although Amazon has clarified that this is merely an experiment with ad-supported content and that Amazon Prime Video will remain ad-free, this new series nevertheless signals Amazon’s exploration of new business models for its OTT service. This new development also dovetails nicely with recent reports that Amazon is mulling over selling slim subscription bundles of TV networks via its OTT service.

What Brands Need To Do
Should Amazon move forward with this ad-supported model and create more free-to-watch content, the new audience they attract could help Amazon get a portion of the video advertising dollars that are increasingly moving to digital. As a result, this would also present a new channel for brands to reach the audience consuming TV content via streaming platforms (check out our Outlook 2016 for more on the Appified TV trend). In this fast-changing media landscape, brands need to stay alert of the new channels and opportunities to effectively reach the right audience, and adjust their ad spending accordingly.


Source: Wired


Snoop Dogg To Launch An Ad-Supported Marijuana-Lifestyle Media Platform

What Happened
At TechCrunch Disrupt on Monday, rapper Snoop Dogg announced his plan to launch a cannabis-themed media platform named Merry Jane. Described as “a lifestyle and information hub for anyone interested in marijuana,” the platform will be ad-supported while also tapping into the business side of the multibillion dollar marijuana industry with branding opportunities.

What Brands Should Do
Besides ads and possible brand sponsorships, the platform will also feature original content, including celebrity-penned articles, recipes, and even an original video series – something that all lifestyle brands should look into. As the marijuana legalization movement continues to gain momentum in the U.S., brands need to think about the emerging industry, and decide on which side of the issue to align themselves.


Source: AdWeek

Music Streaming War Heats Up As Google Music Launches Ad-Supported Free-Tier

Read original story on: AdWeek

Merely one day after the music industry was consumed by the brilliant co-promotional spectacle orchestrated by Taylor Swift and Apple Music, Google hijacked the headlines with a surprising launch of a free, ad-supported tier of its $9.99 per month Google Play Music streaming service. Less like Spotify and closer to Pandora, this new free tier will not allow users unfettered access to specific songs on demand, but rather offers curated playlists and algorithm-based radio channels.

Obviously, when it comes to competing for ad dollars, Google has one great advantage over its competitors—the vast amount of user data. Both Pandora and Spotify have worked to add better targeting options, but they pale in comparison to Google’s trove of data from search and email unified under a login account. Back in early 2012, Google specifically modified its privacy policy to allow for user data to be shared across the various products and services it provides. If Google can deliver a highly customizable ad unit that leverage the data it harnessed into targeting tools, which they probably will, this free version of Google Play Music just might grow into the next great ad platform for brands and advertisers alike.

Why New York Times Switched Its Mobile Revenue Model

Read original story on: The Verge

The New York Times just released an update to its iOS app, NYT Now, that fundamentally altered the prestigious publisher’s business model on the mobile platform. Instead of a subscription-based model priced at $7.99 per month for full digital access, the app is now retooled to be ad-supported, granting all interested readers—with or without subscription—access to an editorially curated selection of articles. In addition, the relaunch of the app is sponsored by Delta airline, with future brand sponsorships to come.

The choice between subscription-based model and ad-supported model has long been a dilemma for media owners to consider when it comes to entering the mobile space. Many prestigious content brands, such as HBO and ESPN, have gone with subscriptions so as to keep their offers consistent across platforms. Yet more and more content owners, especially digital publishers, are starting to realize that the old subscription-based model that worked in print doesn’t translate well in the mobile-first world.

The bottom line here is, the choice between the two revenue models is not so clear-cut. It takes careful evaluation of various factors for brands to figure out which one works for their mobile offerings.