Could Freedive Be Amazon’s Entry Into TV Ad Sales?
First, a little background. Freedive is a soon to be ad-supported free TV network available to viewers using Amazon’s Firestick. To date the channel carries movies and a few original video series, but viewership is sparse. Last week at CES Amazon announced plans to begin selling ads on Freedive. At first this channel will compete with the other OTTs like Hulu and Vevo, and could eventually penetrate the $38B US TV advertising market.
What makes Freedive such a threat to traditional TV can be summed up in one word . . . data. Imagine watching normal TV programming on the Freedive channel for free thanks to your $30 Firestick (instead of your cable subscription), and being exposed to ads targeted to you based on your Amazon Prime browsing and purchase behavior. Think of this as a version of addressable TV on steroids.
The only thing standing in the way of a potential TV Armageddon is audience scale on Freedive, which is next to nothing right now. But with a little programming investment from Amazon Studios and some conversion of existing Firestick owners, Amazon could become a very formidable competitor to traditional TV. Keep in mind there are about 50M Firestick owners in the US – think of these guys as a new audience in waiting for Freedive to leverage.