Amazon’s Ad Unit Headscratcher
Yesterday Amazon quietly started notifying advertisers of the decision to discontinue its CPM Ads product. As the name implies, CPM Ads has been a self-serve portal clients use to buy standard display units at set CPMs. By all accounts the product was solid and seemed to be well-received, so the sunsetting of CPM Ads came as a surprise to the market. Amazon gave no justification for the decision.
Conspiracy theorists are seeing this as an offensive move by Amazon instead of a retreat, because it will clear the way for an even more robust ad platform. Rumors have been circulating about Amazon’s plan to launch an enhanced behavioral retargeting product and even an on-platform sponsored search product. Think of these offerings as Google copycats, but just within their own platform and not the internet at large.
If I’m reading the tea leaves right, Amazon’s plan might be to force brands into more expensive engagement-based products by literally throwing away the low hanging fruit on the display tree. Should be interesting to watch this one play out.