- Apr 24, 2016
Amazon this week introduced five new types of advertisements directly into the user interface of its Fire TV products, further enshittifying the streaming video set-top boxes.
We first learned about this horrible change from StreamTV Insider, which reported that these new options expand on the digital ads found previously to include “span buying, CTV advertising bundles, display ad placements, and contextual opportunities” for advertisers. These ads will further degrade the Fire TV user experience for about 155 million people in the U.S. each month, or 6 out of 10 of all U.S. adults. To date, Amazon has sold over 200 million Fire TV devices worldwide.
Incredibly, Amazon spoke on the record with the publication, explaining that it promised advertisers “more flexible” access to its customers “with the ability for managed-service advertisers to request access to Amazon exclusive inventory across Fire TV for the first time.” Advertisers can even specifically target customers with different Fire TV device types.
From what I can tell, the big deal here is that Fire TV will now display ads for physical products like earbuds and clothing. Ads will even be inserted into search results, alongside real results, and into the carousel that appears at the top of the Fire TV home screen, alongside promoted content. These ads can even include video content. (You can at least turn off autoplay content.)
I very specifically do not use Fire TV, in large part because of all the ads. (Same with Roku.) But this looks to be off the charts, a horrible escalation of something that was already the worst thing about Fire TV.
Amazon this week introduced five new types of advertisements directly into the user interface of its Fire TV products.