In December, we reported that Google is testing ads on Knowledge Graph panels. The example then was an ad for local car dealership appearing on the car knowledge graph. We’re now seeing ads on the knowledge graph for movie streaming rentals that give Google Play the VIP treatment.
Below is a screenshot showing the ads that appear on the knowledge panel for the movie “Megamind”. In all the examples we’ve seen so far, Google Play is featured first with a sort of enhanced listing that includes the brand icon and “Watch” call-to-action. An “Also available from” ad listing appears below the featured ad spot on several results.
Amazon is the only streaming services included in the “Also available from” that we’ve spotted at this point. [See Update at the end of this post.]
It also seems that Amazon is included only when the rental prices on both services are the same. For example, on the knowledge graph panel for Despicable Me 2, shown below, only an ad for Google Play shows with a rental price of $4.99. It turns out Amazon rents that movie for $5.99.
This is the case for “All is Lost” as well, which rents for $3.99 on Google Play and $4.99 on Amazon.
It’s unclear why Amazon is the only streaming service other than Google’s own Google Play included in the ads. Google isn’t commenting other than to say, “We’re constantly testing new ways for users to find useful, clearly-labeled commercial information via Google search.” A spokesperson did add that the company has been testing various search ad formats and features like these for more than a year, though it’s not clear what those earlier experiments looked like.
The knowledge graph ads are appearing on both desktop and mobile SERPs.
Update: Hulu Plus is showing on some results. Examples include “Lost In Translation” (shown here) and “Exit Through The Gift Shop”. In the example of “Glengarry Glen Ross” shown below, Google Play is not noted, and Amazon is the only vendor listed.