Amazon bringing Special Offers ads to Kindle Fire welcome screen

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Amazon will expand its Special Offers advertising platform to the Kindle Fire tablet, the digital retailer's bestselling product.

Citing an ad agency executive briefed on the initiative, AdAge reports Amazon will roll out Special Offers sponsored screensavers to the Kindle Fire's welcome screen. Advertisers must spend about $600,000 for any package that includes Kindle Fire promotion, with all campaigns running for two months. An exec from another agency said Amazon also will offer expanded packages beginning at $1 million.

Amazon first launched the Special Offers effort in April 2011, introducing a discounted version of its original Kindle e-reader subsidized by homescreen deals and sponsored screensavers. Within two months, the 3G-enabled version of Kindle with Special Offers began outselling all other Kindle versions.

But advertisers remain skeptical over whether the model will work on the Kindle Fire. Execs interviewed by AdAge said Amazon isn't guaranteeing the number of devices that the Special Offers ads will reach, telling agencies it has not yet decided whether the promotions will run solely on new Kindle Fire devices or expand to units already in use. "It's kind of an expensive buy to not get a guaranteed audience and measurement," one executive said. "It doesn't comply with a lot of our necessary planning rigor."

Advertisers also expressed concern over how pushing Special Offers to existing Kindle Fire owners would impact customers unaccustomed to ads on their tablet. "You're already paying a premium for the product and then having that unexpected ad experience makes for a worse consumer experience," an exec said. "There needs to be a value exchange."

Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire in mid-November. The seven-inch tablet--priced at $199, compared to $499 for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) cheapest iPad--gives consumers a single, portable point of access to digital media initiatives including the Kindle e-book catalog, Amazon Appstore for Android, Amazon Instant Video and Amazon MP3, with all content backed up in the cloud. The Kindle Fire integrates with the Amazon Web Services platform and enables consumers to leverage free media offerings included within Amazon Prime, the $79 annual service that also offers unlimited two-day shipping on all products sold and processed by the digital commerce giant.

The Kindle Fire represents 54.4 percent of all Android-powered tablets nationwide as of February 2012, up from 29.4 percent last December, according to a recent comScore report. Samsung's Galaxy Tab device family is next at 15.4 percent, trailed by the Motorola (NYSE:MMI) Xoom (7 percent), Asus Transformer (6.3 percent) and Toshiba AT100 (5.7 percent).

For more:
- read this AdAge article

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