You'll want to skip this Fire TV Stick update! Amazon reveals plan to bring more adverts to viewers

fire tv menu shown on a television

Amazon is planning to boost advertising revenue by increasing the number of slots on Fire TV devices

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 17/11/2023

- 11:11

Updated: 17/11/2023

- 11:12

Amazon makes more money from advertising than its Prime membership

  • Viewers will see more adverts across the Fire TV menus in a bid to boost revenue
  • Adverts will appear when you search for specific shows or films using Alexa

You could be about to see more adverts every time you turn on your Fire TV Stick. Amazon is looking at new ways to monetise its popular streaming gadgets, which could see more adverts on-screen when you're searching for your next boxset binge-watch, Hollywood blockbuster, or favourite news channel.

Under new plans, advertisers can place promos alongside Alexa-powered searches on Fire TV. So, if you use the chatty AI to search for Breaking Bad, you'll also be presented with adverts for other series and films starring Bob Odenkirk, for example. Amazon says these paid promos will always be relevant to the initial search.

Plans to increase advertising across Fire TV Stick were revealed in weekly entertainment newsletter, Lowpass, which secured an exclusive talk with Charlotte Maines, who serves as Director of Fire TV Advertising, Monetisation, and Engagement.

Maines confirmed the shift towards context-sensitive advertising on all Fire TV-powered gadgets.

an amazon fire tv stick 4k lying on its side

Amazon's Fire TV Stick devices are competitively priced, starting from as little as £34.99, so the US company is looking to increase revenue from on-screen advertising


Yes, that means you can expect to see more adverts as you browse around the user interface – with the Fire TV catalogue of streamers, games, and other apps now open to new advert slots.

For the first time, the expansive banner that sits at the top of the main menu on all Fire TV devices will now be open to more brands. Until now, Amazon has reserved this slot for streaming services and entertainment brands looking to promote new shows or films.

That restriction will no longer apply, so you can expect to fire up your Fire TV Stick and see adverts for a number of household items. Maines refers to this banner as "the Cadillac of ad spots" available on the Fire TV Stick.

Amazon has sold an incredible 200 million Fire TV devices worldwide since these low-cost streaming set-top boxes made their debut back in April 2014.

Fire TV is available on standalone devices, like the popular Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Cube, as well as the operating system that powers flatscreen televisions, like the Fire TV Omni series.

These devices offer access to the biggest streaming services, Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, All4, and Apple TV+ to name just a few, as well as games, video call apps, and more.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon's own Prime Video streaming service – available from £5.99 per month as a standalone subscription, or included as a benefit of the £95 annual membership to Amazon Prime – plays a large role on Fire TV devices, with high-profile new shows often filling prominent advertising slots on-screen.

For those who don't want to pay a monthly subscription for Prime Video shows and films, Amazon relaunched a new ad-supported service called Freevee last year. This streamer, which is not exclusive to Fire TV, offers a number of exclusive series and films for free, thanks to its regular ad breaks.

The audience for Freevee – and other free ad-supported services, like The Roku Channel, ITVX, All4 – has increased by 788% since the beginning of this year, according to data shared by Maines, while the number of hours viewed has grown by 285%.

Advertising revenue continues to grow at Amazon. Revenue has grown 26% year-on-year, with the Seattle-based retailer now bringing in more money with adverts than subscription fees from Amazon Prime or other paid-for services. But while that's sure to have shareholders running their hands with glee ...what about customers?

Amazon's Charlotte Maines told Lowpass the company carefully monitors the impact of advertising on devices with metrics like engagement and sentiment.

"If you do not enjoy using your Fire TV, you will stop using it,” Maines explained. “Then I don’t have an opportunity for advertisers, because I don’t have a user.”

Fire TV Sticks start from £34.99 with the Fire TV Stick Lite, which offers access to all of the same apps and services but tops out at High Definition (1080p), and rise to £139.99 with the flagship Fire TV Cube.

The latter offers hands-free controls via Alexa, so you won't need to worry about losing the remote down the back of the sofa as you can always bark orders to the AI assistant to switch channels, rewind, and adjust the volume.

Amazon's custom-designed televisions, which are powered by the same Fire TV software as the standalone devices, cost between £249.99 and £999 depending on the size and quality of the screen.

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