Projector projecting Amazon logo

Amazon Live: What Is It, Why Use It, and How Does It Work? 

Katie Capka

Table of Contents

 Updated September 2021

When Amazon Live launched in 2019, it was hailed as “the new QVC.” The Amazon Live page still feels reminiscent of the original shopping channel’s signature show-and-tell video style, and perhaps that’s just what the largest online marketplace needed. 

Capitalizing on the livestream trend was a brilliant move by Amazon because livestream fills the void of not being able to see, touch, and experience products before online shoppers buy. For Amazon shoppers, livestream is the next best thing. 

In 2021, consumers will spend an estimated $6.78 billion in social apps, according to a new report. This figure is expected to rise to $17.2 billion by 2025. What makes this even more interesting is that $3 out of every $4 spent in the top 25 apps came from social apps that offer livestreams!

Combine this data with a report that 74% of shoppers start their online shopping journey on Amazon, and the incredibly potential of Amazon Live quickly becomes apparent.

So, how do you as a seller take advantage of this free (I repeat, FREE) opportunity? Keep on reading.

What is Amazon Live?

“Amazon Live takes the fun and interactive nature of live video and joins it with online shopping,” states Amazon.com. “Bring products to life by featuring them in your product carousel. Features like product highlighting, live promotions and chat help you engage with your audience during your streams.”

Amazon Live has been drawing more attention this year as Amazon pulls publicity stunts, like partnering with celebrities like Demi Lovato to promote products and brands on Prime day 2020.

Amazon Live Demi Lovato

Amazon first unveiled Amazon Live in early 2019The US-only service allows brands to broadcast live or pre-recorded videos to Amazon shoppers demonstrating product usage and features. Shoppers can watch the livestreams across devices and platforms. While pre-recorded video is not technically livestreaming, the expectation is that brand representatives will engage with shoppers while the video broadcasts. 

However, Amazon Live will ban pre-recorded videos that are longer than 5 minutes and/or looped. Amazon also requires that pre-recorded videos must not appear to be pre-recorded in order to retain the “live” feel of Amazon Live.

Amazon stated, “Content you stream should be primarily live, with the majority of your livestream content captured and streamed in real-time. If any pre-recorded video is included in your livestream, it cannot be “looped” or played on repeat multiple times, and any such pre-recorded video cannot exceed 5 minutes in duration.”

Display Locations

While playing, the videos appear on the brand’s listings, brand store, and Amazon.com/Live.

Amazon’s FAQ page also states, “Livestreams can appear … across various placements where Amazon shoppers browse.” While vague, we’ve seen livestreams from one brand appear on a competing brand’s listing, below the “Sponsored Products related to this item” section. 

As Amazon Live grows, this placement could become a significant asset or paint point for brands.

Who can Use Amazon Live?

Brand Registered Brands & Vendors

US professional sellers registered in Amazon Brand Registry and US Vendors with an approved Amazon Store.

Amazon Influencers with an Active Influencer Storefront

Recently, Amazon rolled out livestreaming for influencers, which is an extension of Amazon’s affiliate program that allows influencers to earn a commission on each item they sell.

ThirdParty Sellers & Amazon Agencies

While not a traditional user of Amazon Live, third-party sellers and agencies can certainly livestream on behalf of the brands they represent. This is a service we offer to our clients free of charge here at Kaspien.

Why Brands Should Use Amazon Live

It’s Free

All you need to do is download the Live Creator App (more on that later) and you can start livestreaming. 

It Drives Sales

You’re on Amazon to make more sales, and Amazon Live is a free way to do that with attribution capabilities. When you’re live, your livestream appears at the top of the Amazon Live page, which is a very highly trafficked page. Underneath your live video is the product carousel that features all the products you’ve associated with that livestream. Entice viewers to click through to your listings by offering special pricing or deals, as those promos are displayed in the product carousel. 

It Reaches & Engages Shoppers

By its very nature, livestreaming is engaging. Through this platform, you can talk directly to potential customers, show them your passion, and sell them on your brand and products. Especially if you’re in a category that is ripe with counterfeiters or pricing wars, Amazon Live is the perfect place for you to show why your products are the best. 

As you livestream more and sell more, you can “level-up” on Amazon Live, which unlocks additional livestream placements beyond just Amazon.com/live. 

How to Get Amazon Live

Your brand must be enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry to gain access to Amazon Live. Learn how to sign up in Brand Registry in our Brand Registry enrollment guide.

Download the Amazon Live Creator app and log in to your brand’s Amazon account. Currently, Amazon offers the service solely through an iOS mobile app (Amazon has not yet released an app for Android or Google phone users)

How to Use Amazon Live (for brands)

Option #1: Go Live with the Live Creator App

Use this method if you are going live with your iPhone.

  1. Download the Amazon Live Creator app in the app store. It’s currently only available for iPhones. 
  2. Sign into the app with the log-in credentials for your Amazon Advertising Console account (advertising.amazon.com account) where you created your brand’s Amazon Store page.
  3. You’ll land on your dashboard which gives you an overview of your Amazon Live level and analytics from past livestreams. To create a new livestream or schedule a future livestream, click the plus button in the bottom center of the app. 
  4. Fill out all the details on the new live screen scheduler. This includes adding the relevant product(s) from your catalog to the livestream, adding a title, start time, video source (which should be phone if you’re truly going live), and any relevant promo codes or boosting budget. 

    While livestreaming is free, you can choose to place budget behind boosting your livestream. According to Amazon, “Livestream boosting allows you to pay to help expand the reach of your livestream on Amazon, driving discoverability of your content to broader audience across the site. To leverage paid boosting, you choose a budget for the livestream and a CPM bid. These are used to display your video across various advertising placements on Amazon.com and the Amazon mobile shopping app, including on product detail pages. The budget you choose applies just to boosting that specific livestream.”
  5. When you’re ready to go live, tap the big “Go Live” red button. It will count down from 3 and then you’re live! 

    During the livestream, your video may appear on various placements around Amazon, depending on your Amazon Live level. If you’re just starting out, you’ll be the Rising Star level and your livestream will only place on Amazon.com/live. As you level up in Amazon Live, your streams are eligible to appear in more placements on Amazon.com, including the Amazon.com home page.
  6. While you’re live, have someone monitor the livestream app for questions so you can promptly respond and engage with customers in real time. 

Option #2: Broadcast a Pre-Recorded Video

Use this method if you want to use a broadcast software to stream a pre-recorded video. 

Setting up an Amazon Live broadcast using a pre-recorded video takes quite a bit more finagling than streaming a live video. We’ve been using Amazon Live since it was released in 2019, and we’ve developed a reliable process for it. To get the guide, click the button below!

Best Practices During a Livestream

  1. Keep the Amazon Live Creator App open on your phone to watch for any comments that come in and respond as the brand when appropriate
  2. Livestream during the afternoon and evening on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
  3. If you stream live, take a few test runs before broadcasting to work out the kinks. Ensure you’re in a controlled environment with minimal risk of disruption.
  4. Include a clear Call-to-Action.
  5. Use Amazon Live to promote complex or high price point products.
  6. Use eye-catching visual elements or settings to increase viewership.
  7. Promote the livestream ahead of time on your social media.
  8. Restate key messages and themes throughout the livestream.
  9. Pair livestreams with promo codes. It provides a clear CTA and increases viewership, especially when promoted on your brand’s social media accounts.
  10. If you use or have used influencer marketing, reuse product videos they created for your brand.
  11. Coordinate livestreams with other promotions to amplify each of their impact. This is a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts.

Learn How to Use Other Marketing Tactics!

Interested in learning about other marketing strategies? Download our free eBook, 100+ Tips for Amazon Marketing.

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More About the Author

Katie Capka