Amazon has now entered the space of online advertising with the introduction of the Amazon CPM Ads Program. That’s good news for information-based websites who earn money from advertising!
Since 2003, Google has dominated the online advertising with their Google Adsense program. After Yahoo folded its contextual ad publisher in 2010, no big players have emerged in the field, especially in the cost per impression (CPM)-only networks. While new players in the online advertising market have appeared, none had the clout or size of Google or Amazon. As a result, publishers have become dependent on Adsense, since Google’s program far surpassed the level of income publishers can expect from any other networks (whether CPC, CPM, text link, or other types of ads). Adsense is primarily a cost per click program (CPC), albeit offering a much smaller CPM component. With their new CPM program, Amazon could effectively become the biggest CPM network out today.
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The entry of Amazon is a big boost to the CPM ad model. With a CPM program, the more traffic a website has, the higher the potential for earnings. Publishers need not be concerned whether the visitor clicks on the ads (cost per click or CPC ad model) or signs up/purchases from the advertiser (cost per action or CPA ad model).
The Amazon CPM Ads Program is currently only available by invitation. To know if you are invited, you should login to your Amazon Associates account. If you can see the Amazon Ads tab, then you’re in the program! Otherwise, you won’t see the tab in your Associates account.
Available Ad Sizes
Amazon currently offers ads for only four (4) sizes:
- 300 x 250 Medium Rectangle
- 160 x 600 Wide Skyscraper
- 300 x 600 Half Page
- 728 x 90 Leaderboard
There are currently no multi-size options available, no mobile ads, and no indication that the ads are responsive.
Amazon only allows for 3 ads per page.
Target CPM Rate
What sets Amazon apart from other CPM networks is the ability to set a target CPM rate. Normally, CPM networks do not give this option as they want you to show more ads on your inventory, including ads with low CPMs (or at least, CPMs that are unacceptable to you). If you set $5 as your target CPM rate, for example, Amazon is supposed to show only ads $5 and above.
If Amazon doesn’t have ads with your target CPM rate, it will show ads from your “pass back” network. Pass back ads come from your alternative ad networks, and Amazon will begin showing ads from those networks that meet your target CPM rate. For example, if you are using the medium rectangle 300×250, you can set the code up in such a way that it will show ads from Amazon Bizo TribalFusion Chitika or any other ad networks that you may want to use. Amazon has a very detailed documentation for users of the ad server Double Click for Publishers (DFP) on how to set up pass back code.
Like Adsense, Amazon does not allow publishers to pick and choose specific advertisers.
Some networks such as BurstMedia or Conversant (formerly ValueClick) allow you to pick and choose the adverts that you want to show in your site. You can also see the ad creative, eCPM of the ad, geotargeting location – information that can help you determine if this is an ad you want or not. The advantage of this is that you won’t have to regularly login to your account to check each and every ad that shows on your site. The downside is that you won’t have control over the ads shown on the site (and if you have the pass back set up, you won’t even know what ads Amazon is serving).
Amazon also does not offer the capability to block ads from certain advertisers, a feature that Adsense has.
Publishers will be paid 60 days after end of the month. Payment will be separate from the Associates program, although payment minimums are the same as those of the Affiliates program.
If your site wants to earn money from advertising, check out Amazon CPM Ads Program. It just might be the big player that every publisher has been hoping for in the online advertising space.