In September, Amazon announced plans to start showing ads in Prime Video movies and TV shows in early 2024 starting with the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Canada. The company has now started sending emails to Prime members notifying them that they will start seeing ads from January 29, 2024, unless they pay an additional $2.99 monthly fee.
In the email (via The Verge), the company wrote: “Starting January 29, Prime Video movies and TV shows will include limited advertisements. This will allow us to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time. We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers. No action is required from you, and there is no change to the current price of your Prime membership.”
In the U.S., Amazon Prime subscription costs $14.99 monthly or $139 annually. Customers can choose to make a Prime Video-only subscription for $8.99 monthly. Now that Amazon is charging an additional $2.99 for an ad-free Prime Video, Prime will cost just under $18, while the standalone Prime Video subscription will now be just under $12. With ad-supported tiers, Amazon is following in the direction of other streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Max, and Paramount Plus. Later in 2024, subscribers in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia will also start seeing ads in Prime Video unless they pay the additional fee to go ad-free.
Amazon said Prime Video will include “limited advertisements” and will be “meaningfully fewer” than ads on linear TV and other streaming providers. It is not clear how long that will be, Variety stated in September that four minutes per hour seems to be the benchmark for the lowest amount of ad time on a streaming platform.
Apart from watching exclusive video content on Prime Video, Amazon Prime subscribers have access to free shipping on millions of products, exclusive deals, ad-free listening on Amazon Music and many more benefits.