It’s barely been four months since Amazon placed ads in its Prime Video streaming service, but the retail giant is already introducing more annoying promotional tactics — such as displaying ads whenever someone hits the pause button.

On Tuesday, Amazon announced it will roll out three new ad formats for Prime Video later this year to tempt subscribers to purchase promoted items while watching content. Shoppable carousels will soon appear during ad breaks in shows and movies that present viewers with a “sliding lineup” of products they can buy on Amazon. That essentially makes this an ad within another ad, and it even “automatically pauses” if interacted with to give viewers time to browse.

TV shows, movies, and live sports will also show interactive brand trivia ads that can provide rewards “like Amazon shopping credits” and pause ads that bring up a translucent overlay, allowing viewers to directly add the promoted product to their Amazon carts. Amazon says this overlay will only appear while the video is paused but does note that pause ads “extend the engagement opportunity beyond a traditional ad break.”

Hulu introduced a similar pause-activated advertising feature back in 2019, which is now catching on with other streamers like YouTube. Amazon hasn’t specified when it will roll out these new ad formats, only that they’ll be available “in the upcoming broadcast year” — which typically ends on August 31st.

Prime Video users who want an ad-free experience have to pay Amazon an additional $2.99 per month on top of their existing subscription for the privilege, but plenty of people apparently aren’t doing that. Amazon says its cheaper ad-supported tier has an average monthly reach of over 200 million global customers. The company hasn’t disclosed how many Prime Video subscribers it has, but Amazon said it had 200 million global subscribers across its entire Prime membership program in 2021.

The Verge