The cover of a book is the introduction to the content inside. Thumbnails have taken over this role, becoming the first glimpse into the content within a video. Since Amazon Prime Video Direct differs from Youtube in that users have to buy or rent a title, the thumbnails that you post on Amazon are crucial to the success of your video. Amazon refers to these varying thumbnails as key art, background images and branding images.
Key art is displayed in the following ratios for varying titles:
Movies and Featurettes: 3:4 Aspect Ratio or 1200×1600
TV Shows, Web Series: 4:3 Aspect Ratio or 1600×1200
All content must also provide a 16:9 aspect ratio, or 1920 x 1080, for use with Fire TV and smaller devices.
Key art must be submitted in a .jpg or .png file format.
Aside from key art, background images are also used.
Background images give filmmakers a second chance to display their series or films and as Amazon describes their purpose, “to convey the mood of your content.” These images will appear on device detail screens and should be submitted with a size of 1920×1080 in .jpg or .png format.
For separate subscriptions to third-party premium networks or entertainment channels, branding images must also be submitted.
Amazon provides Adobe Photoshop templates to help creators make optimal thumbnail images. These templates have automatic text placement so art is sure to appear as the creator desires. For each subscription service, four images must be submitted. Two brand images and two logo files.
The two brand images will be the same image submitted in two different sizes. The sizes are 3000 x 600 and 1920 x 1280 and must have a 72 DPI resolution.
The two logo images will be the same logo, one used in full color and one in single color with a transparent background. As Amazon requires, they must be in .ai, .eps. or .svg format and cannot be .jpg.
To avoid controversy, Amazon has set strict guidelines on these thumbnails that all filmmakers must abide by.
The following guidelines and restrictions must be followed when uploading key art to the Amazon Direct service.
Filmmakers cannot upload any art containing weapons, violence, sex or drugs. Specifically creators can’t use images with weapons within the art or pointing at an individual. They also ask filmmakers to use “as little gore as possible” when creating art for a violent film. The use of images that show drugs or alcohol, complete nudity or any other sexually explicit content is not allowed. Considerations for younger or sensitive viewers using the platform should be taken into account.
Just as books rely heavily on their cover to motivate a viewer to read the content, your key art, background images and branding images are going to be a massive part behind the success of your movie or series.
Curate art that fits the requirements and guidelines above and sparks interest in viewers to want to watch more in order to successfully market your film or series.
We make thumbnails for creators who upload to Amazon Prime Video Direct on a regular basis. If you have any questions about what is required for Amazon to approve your thumbnail art, let us know. We’re happy to help in any way that we can.