Bottom line: Amazon has announced plans to introduce ads on Prime Video, a perk that comes bundled as part of a paid Prime subscription. Needless to say, folks aren't thrilled about the prospect of having to sit through ads for a service they already pay for and one that's been commercial free up to this point. There is a remedy, but it's going to cost you even more.
Amazon announced the pending change as part of a broader update on Prime Video, and said it will start showing limited advertisements beginning in early 2024. The e-commerce giant said they aim to have "meaningfully fewer" ads than rival streaming services and linear TV.
The extra revenue, Amazon added, will allow them to continue to invest in compelling content and increase their investment over a long period of time.
Prime Video ads will initially launch in the US, the UK, Canada, and Germany, with France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia to join the mix later in 2024.
Prime is priced at $14.99 per month or $139 for a full year. College students can get a subscription for $7.49 a month or $69 a year, and those on qualifying government assistance programs will pay $6.99 per month. If there's any consolation, it's that Amazon said it will not be making any changes to the current price of its Prime membership next year.
Those absolutely opposed to ads do have options. Amazon plans to introduce an ad-free option for an additional $2.99 per month, which works out to about $36 a year before any potential annual discounts are factored in. Nobody wants to pay an extra fee on top of an existing fee, but it is an option. Another would be to simply not watch anymore, but again, who wants to do that?
Amazon may be the latest to try and squeeze extra money out of consumers, but in reality they are late to the game as subscription services across the board have been hiking prices as of late.