Amazon Prime Video to introduce advertisements during TV shows and movies

Starting January 29, Amazon Prime Video will introduce ads with an ad-free option at $2.99/month, aiming to enhance content investment. UK customers will pay £2.99 to remove ads (from February 5). The move follows competitors and seeks to maintain affordability amid rising streaming costs. Ads expand to other countries in 2024.

Amazon Prime Video to display advertisements during TV shows and movies

Prime Video says its Time for Ads: Amazon Video Goes Commercial

Big Changes Coming to Your Streaming

Get ready for a shift in how you watch movies and TV shows on Amazon Prime Video. Starting January 29, 2024, for viewers in the United States and Canada, and February 5, 2024, for those in the UK and Germany, Amazon will be introducing “limited” advertisements during content. This marks a significant move for the previously ad-free streaming service, and it’s bound to raise some questions.

Why the Ads?

Amazon’s decision stems from their desire to both expand their ad business and boost investment in compelling content. While Prime memberships offer a range of benefits like one-day delivery and music streaming, Amazon wants to tap into the booming world of online advertising. This additional revenue stream will allow them to continue bringing high-quality shows and movies to their viewers, including exciting projects like the “Warhammer 40,000” series and the “Fallout” adaptation.

Ad-Free Option Available

Hold on, you say! I don’t want ads interrupting my binge-watching. Don’t worry, you’re not powerless. For an additional $2.99 per month, you can opt for an ad-free Prime Video experience. This keeps your viewing uninterrupted and maintains the traditional ad-free experience.

How Many Ads?

Amazon promises to keep it low-key compared to traditional TV or other streaming services. They aim for “meaningfully fewer ads,” so you won’t be bombarded with commercials every five minutes. Additionally, some live content like sports may still contain ads even for paying subscribers.

Global Rollout

The ad rollout won’t happen all at once. While US and Canada start in January, UK and Germany follow in February, with other countries like France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia joining later in 2024.

Price Tweaks Across the Pond

There’s a slight sting for UK viewers on the ad-free option. While US customers pay $2.99 and Germany goes for €2.99, in the UK it’s slightly higher at £2.99. This has some scratching their heads, but it’s important to remember that currency conversions aren’t always exact.

The Competitive Landscape

Amazon isn’t the first streaming giant to embrace ads. Disney+ and Netflix have already launched ad-supported tiers to reach a wider audience and offer more affordable options. With increasing production costs and the need to compete for viewers, ads seem to be the new normal for streaming services.

The Choice is Yours

Ultimately, the decision lies with you. If you’re happy with the current ad-free experience and can afford the extra $2.99, keep your Prime Video uninterrupted. But if you’re willing to tolerate a few ads for a lower price point, the ad-supported option might be appealing.

One thing’s for sure, the landscape of streaming is changing. Amazon’s move signifies a new era of advertising on Prime Video, and it’ll be interesting to see how viewers adapt and navigate this shift. So, grab your popcorn, settle in, and prepare for a slightly different Prime Video experience, with or without the occasional commercial break.

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Source(s): BBC; Business Insider

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