Amazon Now Piloting CPM Ads With Select Amazon Associates Publishers

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Amazon has launched a display ad network, in the form of Amazon CPM ads, to members of its online affiliates program, Amazon Associates. Select members of the program have recently been invited to test the new advertising option, which will feature both display ads from Amazon as well as other “high-quality” advertisers.

The program is currently in a pilot testing period – some of the Amazon Associates have seen the option appear in their online accounts, while others have not.

Dave Zatz, who runs the popular website, Zatznotfunny.com, was one of the first to be invited to join the program, and blogged about the details, explaining that he has been a member of Amazon Associates in order to post the occasional link to the site or tweet, in order to help generate revenue and endorse worthy products.

According to Amazon’s description of the new CPM ads, the ads are tailored to the user using Amazon’s personalization technology. You’ll be paid for each impression you serve, and you can specify a target CPM minimum. If Amazon can’t meet the CPM target, your ad request will then be “passed back” to your specified ad network.

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Zatz tested the new feature for a couple of hours, and found that there were still some kinks to be worked out – there were a few periodic rendering issues where his logo didn’t show, or the ad font settings were inherited by other areas of a page, for example, he says. In addition, Amazon didn’t appear to honor his target CPM ($2).

Unlike Google AdSense, which is primarily pay-per-click, Amazon CPM Ads are impression-based, Zatz also notes in his blog post.

The ads are offered in a variety of formats, including 728×90, 300×250, 300×600, and 160×600, but Associates users are not able to block or choose which advertisers show up on their websites.

CPM payout minimums will be the same as those for the Associates program itself, but will be issued separately from other program earnings, says Amazon, in its online documentation.

The website also confirms that participation in Amazon CPM ads is only available by invitation currently.

Amazon has not responded to our requests for more information on the program or when it would be more broadly available, but if it chooses to do so, we’ll update with those details. However, much about how the new CPM ads work can be found in the Q&A here.