Saturday, February 24, 2024
From the WireTechnology

Fire TV banner ads are about to get worse

Get ready for even more advertising on your Fire TV. Amazon has announced that it will be adding banner ads for physical products, such as earbuds and apparel, to the Fire TV interface. These ads will appear in the top feature carousel and alongside organic search results. This move comes as Fire TV devices are already heavily laden with sponsored screensavers and banner ads that can be intrusive during navigation. The expansion of advertising on Fire TV may make it feel even more like a billboard in your living room. Will these changes detract from the overall user experience?

Fire TV banner ads are about to get worse

Feature Rotator ads

Definition of Feature Rotator ads

Feature Rotator ads refer to the carousel of promotions located at the top of the Fire TV home screen. This carousel, also known as the “Feature Rotator,” has traditionally been used to promote streaming services and their content. However, Amazon is now expanding this feature to include ads from other companies, allowing brands and products, such as American Airlines, Cheetos, Hyundai, or Levi’s, to be featured alongside streaming content.

Expansion of carousel ads to other companies

Previously, the Feature Rotator was exclusively reserved for streaming services. But with the new changes, Amazon is opening up carousel ads to other companies. This expansion means that Fire TV users may start seeing ads for physical products such as earbuds and apparel from non-streaming brands. The Feature Rotator ads can cover approximately half the screen upon turning on the Fire TV device and nearly the entire screen by scrolling upward.

Video component of carousel ads

In addition to including ads from other companies, Amazon is also introducing a video component to the carousel ads. As users scroll up into the carousel, the ads will begin playing automatically. This feature allows advertisers to showcase their video commercials to Fire TV users as soon as they turn on their devices. This strategy aims to maximize ad exposure and engagement by capturing users’ attention right from the moment they start using their Fire TV.

Ability to disable autoplay ads

While the autoplay feature for carousel ads can be engaging for some users, Amazon understands that others may prefer to have more control over their viewing experience. As a result, Fire TV users have the ability to disable autoplay ads. By going to the Settings, then Preferences, and finally Featured Content, users can manage their autoplay settings and choose whether they want carousel ads to play automatically or not.

More sponsored content slots

Introduction of sponsored content in search results pages

In addition to expanding carousel ads, Amazon is bringing sponsored content to its search results pages on Fire TV. Previously, these pages were ad-free, but they will now include sponsored listings alongside organic search results. Advertisers can now target specific search queries, allowing their ads to appear directly next to the top search result for a relevant query.

Confirmation of Sponsored Tile format

Amazon has confirmed that the newly introduced sponsored listings in search results will be labeled as “Sponsored Tiles.” These tiles will be distinguished from organic search results through a “sponsored” tag. This labeling ensures transparency and helps users differentiate between organic search results and sponsored content. It also provides users with the choice to engage with these sponsored listings or focus solely on non-sponsored search results.

Labeling of sponsored listings

In contrast to the way sponsored tiles are displayed in the search results, Fire TV’s home screen handles sponsored tiles differently. On the home screen, sponsored tiles are separated into their own distinct rows, allowing users to easily identify and navigate through sponsored content. This distinction enables users to locate specific sponsored content more efficiently, enhancing their overall browsing experience on Fire TV.

Comparison to Fire TV home screen ads

When comparing Fire TV devices to other platforms, such as Roku, Google TV, and Apple TV, it becomes evident that Fire TV devices have a more prominent presence of ads. While other platforms may include banner ads and sponsored content, Amazon has been more aggressive about incorporating advertising into its interface. This may lead to Fire TV devices feeling more like billboards in users’ living rooms. However, it’s important to note that Fire TV devices still offer great value with their performance, remotes, and Alexa voice controls, despite the increased ad presence.

Fire TV banner ads are about to get worse

Do Fire TV devices have more ads?

Comparison to other platforms

When comparing the ad presence on Fire TV devices to other streaming platforms, it becomes clear that Amazon has a more extensive ad strategy. While Roku devices include a banner ad alongside the main app launcher, it does not interfere with navigation. Google TV devices also include sponsored content in the top carousel and occasionally display ads for physical products. However, Apple TV stands out for its minimal advertising, with no banner ads on its app launcher and a focus on promoting Apple TV+ content instead.

Banner ads on Roku devices

Roku devices feature a banner ad that runs alongside the main app launcher. Unlike Fire TV’s banner ads, Roku’s ads do not obstruct navigation, allowing users to easily browse through their content. Additionally, Roku offers the option to select ad-free wallpapers, providing users with a more customizable and tailored experience.

Sponsored content on Google TV

Google TV devices have incorporated sponsored content into the top carousel, similar to Fire TV’s Feature Rotator. Some users have reported seeing ads for physical products in this space. However, there is a distinction between paid promotions and recommendations, with sponsored content clearly labeled as “Ad.” The Chromecast with Google TV and Walmart Onn 4K devices do not appear to display sponsored content rows on their home screens or in search results.

Minimal advertising on Apple TV

In comparison to Fire TV and other platforms, Apple TV maintains a minimalistic approach to advertising. The app launcher on Apple TV devices does not include banner ads, ensuring a clutter-free experience. The main focus of Apple TV’s advertising is promoting Apple TV+ content rather than third-party ads, enabling users to engage primarily with Apple’s own streaming service.

Amazon’s expanding ad ambitions on Fire TV devices demonstrate the balance between the value they provide and the increased ad presence. Fire TV devices continue to offer numerous features, performance, and affordability compared to other rival streamers, making them an attractive option for many users. However, the increased advertising may lead some users to weigh the benefits against the intrusion of ads in their streaming experience. Overall, Fire TV devices remain a popular choice, but it’s crucial for users to have the option to manage and customize their ad preferences based on their individual preferences and needs.