Amazon OTT (Over-the-Top) and Out-Stream Video Ads Guide


What are Amazon OTT and out-stream video ads?

Amazon Over-The-Top (OTT) video ads are video advertising placements across online streaming TV and movies over Amazon’s DSP network and not on traditional media providers. It has become more popular recently due to today’s consumers’ preference for digital streaming media instead of traditional TV.

Since its launch in 2019, this ad platform has gained massive attention and traction due to the unique capabilities and advantages over other forms of ads. By using Amazon’s first-party data, it supports both broader reach objectives and brand performance initiatives.

OTT video advertisements stream through cable boxes, gaming consoles, and other connected devices, like the Amazon Fire TV stick. OTT video inventory bridges the gap between traditional television and modern digital media by allowing advertisers to apply programmatic targeting precision to streaming media.

Difference between OTT video ads and out-stream video ads

Video ads can appear either within video content or as a creative element within a display ad. Video ads that appear within OTT video content—either before, during, or after—are known as OTT video ads. These ads cannot always be skipped and therefore are typically viewed until completion of the ad. Out-stream video ads do not appear within video content and typically use space reserved for a display ad on a website or app. They appear on Amazon subsidiaries like IMDb and across the web as standalone videos.

Why use OTT and out-stream video ads?

Regardless of being simply a replacement for traditional TV advertising, Amazon OTT has sophisticated targeting, scaling, and attribution capabilities. It displays ads catered specially to the individual consumer’s preference and interests.

While adults in the US now spend around 6 hours a day watching video content, according to Statista, by 2021 the projected number of OTT video service users in the US will reach 198 million. Therefore, several advantages abound for advertisers who adopt this platform for their brand and product advertisement and marketing. Some of these pros are:

1. Growing your brand on and off Amazon

Amazon’s OTT platform enables you to reach your audience and build your brand both on Amazon-owned properties as well as third-party publishers within Amazon’s network.

2. Efficient ad spending

Amazon Publisher Services (APS) integrates directly with OTT apps to remove intermediaries and their fees. This lets advertisers see exactly what they’re paying for. OTT ads are also easier to track the success of than traditional TV advertising. According to eMarketer, the average cost-per-minute of US primetime TV ads has almost doubled over the past decade.

Amazon OTT advertising offers advertisers plenty of shows and streaming events to advertise alongside — with more controllable ad spend. OTT lets advertisers stick to a more strategic budget and spend on a smaller scale than traditional TV ads.

3. Audience targeting

You’re able to advertise to specific audiences who are going to be more interested in your products and services. This makes use of Amazon’s first-party data, as well as being able to have real-time intent behind your video ads.

4. Audience guarantees

You can target your ads to viewers you want to reach with a measure-and-buy approach. These numbers are calculated with Nielsen ratings. This works great with Amazon OTT’s performance-based pricing. You only have to pay for impressions from audiences relevant to your brand (CPM), you can get more value by being selective with where your ads show up. Apparently, this feature is only available for customers in the US.

5. Access to unreachable audiences

Current users of OTT services have reached over 180 million, which accounts for well more than half the US population. That’s a significant number of consumers who were previously unreachable through online streaming services. But as more of them come in droves to OTT services, you’ll be able to advertise your products and services to them as well.

While about one-quarter of internet users opt for an ad blocker, Amazon ads unlike traditional TV are unskippable, hence, one way or another, a lot more people will see your video ads.

6. Performance-based auctions

You are offered many shows and live events to advertise on, and you spend only as much as how it performs. Compared to how much you have to spend on traditional TV ads, you can get more value out of Amazon OTT advertising.

7. Ad conquesting

In Amazon OTT, you get to do video conquesting to advertise to your target audience, who may be interested in your competitors’ products. This gives you a chance to gain new customers as you give them a reason to rethink their purchasing decisions.

8. Video creative builder

If you happen to have no creative assets, you can still build your own video ads for Amazon OTT through the new Video Creative Builder. Amazon provides a library of video assets and templates for creating multiple video ads from a single video asset.

9. Genre blocking

You can select up to 5 genres to exclude your ads from. For example, if you’re selling baby products, you may want to exclude horror, crime, action, and other violent genres. If you’re selling female apparel, you may want to exclude genres that tend to attract predominantly male demographics. Apparently, this feature is only available for customers in the US.

How advertisers can use OTT video ads

Once you can access the inventory through the Amazon DSP and put up your own video ads, you can then form and lay down the strategy for your OTT ad campaign with three simple steps.

Set Specific Goals and KPIs for Your OTT Ads

Shoot for specific and realistic goals and key performance indicators that will indicate tangible growth for your brand through the ad campaign. It’s great if you happen to exceed them, but the important thing here is to meet goals that serve as a benchmark for success at the moment.

Identify Your Target Audiences

Through Amazon Audience Solutions, you can employ a data-driven approach to understanding your target audiences. Get specific with who your ideal customer is, right down to the types of shows they’re likely to watch.

Build and Execute Your Video Ad Campaign

Once you have your goals and target audiences, you may then build your video ad. You can either use the Video Creative Builder provided by Amazon or your own video production to make different ones that you can then test.

How to track your Amazon OTT performance

You can measure the success of your OTT initiatives much like any other performance channel: with awareness, consideration, and sales. Some metrics useful metrics within the Amazon OTT include.

  • Reach Metrics: You can look up your unique reach and see how much it impacts your business. The reach brings in new leads, who can then be brought to your marketing funnel all the way down to actual conversion.
  • Brand Search Metrics It can show how much impact your advertising has on driving customer research for your products. The higher this number is, the more your products are showing up on search results.
  • New-to-Brand: This is how effective your ads are in attracting new customers. Getting a good new-to-brand metric means your video ads are working and your brand is about to grow.
  • Brand Lift: Perceptions can change as time passes, and the brand lift metric can show you how your audience demographic changes. This is especially useful for youth-oriented brands, wherein the audience actually ages and may grow out of that interest.


There’s no gainsaying the present and future of visual content creation and consumption belong to internet-based video streaming services. The decline of traditional television and the increase in the user base of streaming services is a testament to this change. Since we are relatively at the beginning of this paradigm shift, advertising opportunities in these streaming services are relatively untouched. Hence, Amazon OTT advertising is a sensible option for any brand or product looking to be visible.

Amazon OTT advertising is all about increasing brand awareness in previously unimaginable ways. The rise of online streaming services has brought video advertising back into the living room with greater power and reach, and Amazon is leading the way.