by Kevin Coupe

The Wall Street Journal has a story about Amazon’s streaming of Thursday Night Football games, and what the appeal may be to advertisers.

“For some,” the story says, “the appeal is Amazon’s promise of ‘attribution,’ the idea that the company can show that ads led to an increase in brand awareness or online store sales, including on Amazon.com. Marketers crave that data and have gotten uneven results in television. For others, the big draw is the affluent audience - NFL games can only be viewed by subscribers to Amazon’s $99-a-year Prime service.”

The Journal writes that “Amazon paid $50 million for the rights to stream 10 Thursday night NFL games, alongside television broadcasters CBS and NBC, which are splitting the season schedule. Amazon has access to 22 spots per game, including pre-, post- and in-game ads -- inventory that on traditional TV goes to local broadcast stations.” In its pitch to advertisers, the story says, “Amazon sought $2.8 million for a package that included inventory in each of its Thursday night games, as well as other ad inventory across Amazon’s platform. There were skeptics among advertisers and not everyone went all in: some advertisers paid around $1 million less than the original asking price, according to people familiar with the deals.

Amazon has described its inventory of ads as being sold out, and says, “Our focus is now on execution and, with our advertisers, learning from the results we see throughout the season.”

For me, it is the notion of “attribution” that is so powerful, so Eye-Opening… the ability of a digital entity to directly link cause and effect.