Amazon Prime: you'll soon have to pay more if you don't want ads in Prime Video
It was only a matter of time before the next major streaming service starts to introduce advertising. This time, it is Amazon Prime, or more precisely Amazon Prime Video, which is getting a dose of advertising.
Amazon Prime users who use Prime Video will soon see advertisement when they use the service. Amazon claims that it plans to show "meaningfully fewer ads" than rival streaming platforms, but did not provide specifics.
Prime users who don't want to see ads have to pay an additional $2.99 per month to do so.
In "An update on Prime Video", Amazon explains that "limited advertisements" will be shown starting in early 2024. Ads in Prime Video content will be introduced in select regions only in 2024. The first wave will hit Amazon customers in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany. Later on in the year, ads will be a common occurrence for users in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia.
No information has been provided on other regions. Amazon notes that "no action is required for Prime members", unless they want to keep an ad-free Prime experience. In this case, they need to add the new ad-free option to their account, which will cost $2.99 per month in the United States. Amazon said that it will reveal local pricing for other countries at a later point.
Prime video members will be emailed in advance to inform them about the introduction of ads to the service. The emails will contain information on the new ad-free option and how to sign-up for it.
Amazon customers in the United States pay $14.99 per month or $139 per year for the service. It includes Prime Video access, but also other benefits, such as free deliveries of items purchased on Amazon, Prime Gaming and Reading, and more.
Customers who subscribe to the ad-free option pay $35.88 per year extra for that. It is unknown if Amazon will give discounts if customers make yearly payments.
Amazon did not provide specifics on the integration of advertisement. It is unclear when ads will be shown to users and whether these ads will also be shown while shows or movies are playing.
Both Disney and Netflix have also introduced ad-powered plans on their service. Disney+ is available for $13.99 per month without ads in the United States from October onward. The price of a Disney+ subscription with ads is $7.99.
Amazon explains that it needs to introduce advertising to "continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing the investment over a long period of time".
It feels disingenuous to introduce ads in the way Amazon is doing it. Amazon, in effect, is increasing the price of its service, if customers want to keep the same experience as they currently have.
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