Amazon Prime Video ads launch on January 29 for all subscribers
In September 2023, Amazon revealed that it would soon make its service more pleasant by introducing video ads to the platform. Unlike Netflix or Disney+, which added a new cheaper ad-powered plan, Amazon decided to introduce ads to all subscribers of Amazon Prime Video.
Prime subscribers who don't want videos need to pay more each month to avoid them or stop using the service altogether.
Amazon is sending out emails to Prime subscribers currently that informs them about the change. The email includes the start date, which is January 29th, 2024. It is unclear at this point whether this change will roll out in select regions only at the time or globally. If not globally, there is a good chance that ads will be introduced in all regions eventually.
The company explains in the email that the ads allow it to "continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time".
Amazon claims that the ads will be "meaningfully fewer" than on linear TV and also other streaming TV providers. The ad infusion is automatic and begins at the end of January 2024 for all Prime Video viewers.
Amazon Prime customers who don't want to see ads when they watch content on Amazon Prime Video may pay Amazon an extra $2.99 per month to avoid those. Some content, especially live event content, will continue to include advertisement.
Amazon's Freevee service, which is available free of charge, will also continue to show advertisement, even to users who pay the extra $2.99 per month.
In the United States, Amazon Prime costs $14.99 per month currently or $139 if paid annually. There is also an option to only subscribe to Prime Video for $8.99.
The subscription price varies from region to region Amazon Prime is offered in. In Germany, for instance, Amazon Prime is available for €8.99 per month. While that is considerably less than the $14.99 in the United States, German subscribers do not get all of the same benefits as subscribers from the United States.
A sign-up page for the ad-free option is already online. Note that this page can only be opened from a location in the United States at the time of writing.
The introduction of advertisement is an industry-wide trend. Most streaming services have introduced ad-powered plans that are cheaper than ad-free plans. It will be interesting to see how Amazon's decision to introduce ads to all regular plans will work out for the company.
Will subscribers pay the extra €2.99 to stay ad-free, endure the ads while watching content, watch less content on Prime Video or even cancel their subscription?
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