UK Fire TV Users Irked By New Full-Screen Ad Overload

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Just when you thought your streaming experience couldn’t get more ad-heavy, Amazon has conjured up yet another advertising trick.

The company has now introduced full-screen adverts that appear before the screen saver kicks in on some Fire TV devices – and yes, they’ve already made their way to the UK.

First reported by Cord Cutters News last week for US devices, we were holding out hope that this particular “upgrade” wouldn’t cross the pond.

Alas, our hopes were dashed, and British users are now being treated to these pre-screensaver adverts.

So far, I’ve seen Prime Video Store content recommendations, such as adverts for the new Mad Max film rental, but more “traditional” adverts will likely show up there as well, eventually.

Fire TV Full screen ad screensaver mad max

Of course, Amazon’s Fire TV already has its fair share of adverts as part of its interface. You see them as banners across the screen and big ads at the top.

Now, Amazon has decided to add even more ads – this time, they’ll show up right before your screen saver starts – but only on some Fire TV devices (see below for the full list).

A Brief History of Amazon’s Streaming And Adverts

As mentioned, adverts on the Fire TV are nothing new.

Amazon Fire TV Max 2nd homescreen 2023
See that banner?


We all know the banners and sponsored content recommendations, and back in 2022, Amazon also introduced the “Welcome Screen” ad format for its Freevee app on Fire TV devices (something that, it seems, never showed up for other apps, at least in the UK).

Fast forward to February 2024, and Prime Video subscribers received the news that adverts would be integrated into their viewing experience.

Amazon Prime Video ads change mockup

The price for an ad-free experience? An extra £2.99 per month.

Later in the year, Amazon unveiled a suite of additional interactive and shoppable ad formats, that will be coming to Prime Video at some point – From “shoppable carousel ads” during breaks to interactive pause ads and even “entertaining” brand trivia ads.

The Latest Fire TV Innovation: Screensaver Adverts

The new adverts and promotional messages now appear when the Fire TV’s screensaver kicks in (so far I’ve seen two in a row).

Amazon confirmed to Cord Busters that these new screensaver adverts are currently limited to devices supporting Amazon’s Ambient Experience (an Alexa-based screensaver that serves as a smart display).

Amazon Fire TV Max 2nd Ambient Experience widgets
Fire TV’s Ambient Experience

For now, that means they’re only appearing on Omni TVs and the Fire TV Stick 4K Max 2nd Gen – so in fact, most of you won’t see them yet.

But it stands to reason these will be coming to other devices as well, at some point.

Amazon provided us with the following statement:

“We’re constantly looking for more ways to help customers effortlessly find content, products, and services they may enjoy, and ads are one way we do that.

Our most recent update to the Ambient Experience on Fire TV Stick 4K Max means customers will start to see sponsored content to discover something great to watch or a new product or service to try.”

New fire TV Stick 4K Max 2023 closeup
Fire TV 4K Max

Adverts All Around Us

Of course, Amazon isn’t alone in its quest to monetise every possible moment of our viewing experience.

Other streaming services like ITVX are also exploring new ad formats, including pause ads and short-form advertising opportunities.

And Channel 4’s app already has pause adverts that show up the moment you press the Pause button.

Then there’s Roku, which includes huge ads to the right of the device’s main menu. In the near future, plans are in place to turn that ad into a video advert. 

And recently, Roku users were furious when a Taylor Swift ad took over the entire screen (well, almost).

Taylor Swift Roku Ad

As streaming services and devices continue to push the boundaries of what viewers will tolerate in terms of advertising, one thing is clear: the days of truly ad-free streaming experiences are becoming quite rare.

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