A new Amazon program lets companies add multimedia to their product pages. But if you aren't at a company with deep pockets, don't get too excited, because at $500,000 a year, it's not cheap.

Amazon is a master of marketing, as its Prime Day promotion shows. It knows how to push consumers' buttons to get them to act as it wants.

But Amazon is also expert in working with its many vendors and partners and getting participation in programs that add to its bottom line. Smaller resellers can get it to warehouse and ship products for a fulfillment cut. Want to appear in the buy used box? You have to meet certain performance metrics -- and have product in an Amazon fulfillment center. There are also ways to place ads on the site.

But there's promotion, and then there's promotion. According to AdAge, companies can add widescreen video and interactive multimedia to product pages. The cost, as anonymous advertisers told the publication, runs $500,000 a year, although reportedly that covers the costs for all of a company's product pages. That steep price suddenly starts looking a lot more affordable if your business has many offerings and a significant ad budget. Not only do you get additional sales tools, but they're in a place that lets you correlate your marketing with the sales from that channel.

[Update 19-October-2017 8:37PM: Amazon finally responded to a request for a comment, although it did not address the report of the new program. The statement did say in part,"We are constantly looking for features and tools that brands can leverage to share their stories and better serve customers."]

An example is Bose. Its product pages, like that for the Bose SoundLink Revolve Portable Bluetooth 360 Speaker, look like a normal Amazon page at the top. The differentiation comes as you scroll down into wide images, a video, and an interactive image, among other things.

Of course, the extra power all assumes that consumers scroll down far enough to be impressed. But the advertisers that AdAge spoke with said that the presentations pull in more sales. These are companies that want to appear top shelf as online increasingly becomes the store showroom that many people turn to first. So while additional sales now are great, so is the positioning for the future.

Advertising has become an increasingly important service for Amazon. The company is probably pulling in billions in revenue, according to estimates. Even better, there's no product to buy and then resell at a tight margin.

Next step may be product placement in Amazon-produced videos. Variety says that practitioners of the old marketing technique in television and movies want in at Amazon and Netflix, because that's where the audiences are going.

Published on: Oct 18, 2017