Amazon has confirmed that beginning January 29, 2024, Amazon Prime Video subscribers will encounter video advertisements while streaming movies and TV shows. Despite the introduction of ads, subscription prices are to remain unchanged at $14.99 monthly or $139 annually. As The Verge reports, Amazon is sending emails to Prime users to confirm the ads.
Maintaining Content Investment
The decision to include advertisements within Prime Video allows Amazon to persist in its investment in high-quality content for an extended period. Amazon assures subscribers that the streaming service will have significantly fewer ads compared to traditional linear TV and other streaming TV providers.
Amazon Prime members displeased with the introduction of ads to the service can opt to remove them by paying an additional $2.99 per month. An email sent to subscribers detailed the new system, without specifying if the ad-free service would affect the annual Prime subscription rate.
Amazon's current ad-supported platform, Amazon Freevee, offers a selection of streaming content without a subscription fee. Members wishing to secure an ad-free experience on Prime Video can “pre-order” the service; the additional charge will only apply upon the implementation of the ad system.
In contrast, Apple TV+ remains an ad-free streaming option but has recently increased its monthly fee to $9.99. As streaming services evolve, Amazon's move reflects an ongoing trend of integrating ads to offset content investment costs while providing alternatives for ad-free viewing.
Netflix Already has an Ad-Tier Subscription
In November last year, Netflix teamed with Microsoft to bring Bing-powered ads to its platform via a new subscription tier. the service brings in a whole new level of customers. It costs $6.99 per month to sign up for Netflix Basic with Ads. Netflix chose Microsoft over Google and Comcast because Microsoft does not have a competing video service.
Netflix previously resisted using ads on its platform. However, the company said the new tier is excellent for advertisers because it allows them to reach younger audiences that do not watch regular TV (or ads). On the Basic with Ads subscription, users get ads before, during, and after shows and movies.