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Amazon Execs Paul Kotas & Mike Hopkins Kick Off Tech Giant’s First Upfront, Touting Prime Video As A “One-Stop Shop” For Viewers And Advertisers

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Senior Amazon execs Paul Kotas and Mike Hopkins opened the tech giant’s first upfront by detailing the steps toward becoming what Hopkins called a “one-stop shop” for viewers and advertisers.

After Alicia Keys kicked off the presentation at Pier 36 along New York’s East River, Kotas took the stage. The SVP of Amazon Ads began with a quip about his low profile despite having helped build Amazon’s multi-billion-dollar ad business. “Maybe I need to tweak my LinkedIn profile,” he said.

Turning to strategy, he said the company has “created the ability for brands of all types and sizes to reach customers through Prime Video content.” Left unstated but informing the entire splashy affair was Prime Video beginning to run advertising on film and TV titles earlier this year. CEO Andy Jassy, in his annual letter to shareholders last month, said the effort is “off to a great start.” The streaming video offering is a cornerstone of the company’s push into advertising, which has seen revenue climb by more than 20% year-over-year for several consecutive quarters.

“Today is all about how we’re bringing together the vast reach of Prime Video with ad tech that leverages Amazon’s billions of customer signals,” Kotas said. The company’s reach spans the “very top of the funnel to the very bottom for all brands. … We’ve been working toward this moment for years, which is why being on this stage means so much.”

Hopkins, SVP of Prime Video & Amazon Studios, laid out statistics to illustrate Amazon’s size after nearly two decades in the streaming game. With an average of 200 million global customers, 115 million of whom are in the U.S., Prime Video is “the largest global ad-supported streaming service.” Netflix has more overall subscribers, with 270 million, but its ad effort is nascent, while Prime Video’s move into advertising follows a heavy push by corporate siblings like Twitch and Freevee.

“We’ve been working to make Prime Video a one-stop shop for streaming,” Hopkins told ad buyers, “and with your help, we’re making it a one stop advertising destination as well.”

Along with original programming, Hopkins pointed out, Prime Video also features a lengthy roster of third-party streaming outlets, including Max and Crunchyroll, and also has the biggest catalog of film and TV rental and sale titles.

Before moving into the main upfront week alongside media companies, Netflix and YouTube, Amazon staged an event at the NewFronts, with recent editions highlighting a growing presence in live sports. NFL Thursday Night Football is two seasons into an 11-year exclusive deal on Prime Video.

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