Amazon Prime Video to get ads next year – and you’ll have to pay extra to avoid them
Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service is going to be showing viewers adverts starting from next year, in what’ll doubtless be a disappointing move for many folks.
The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on Amazon’s ad supported plans, which basically entail changing the existing Prime subscription (Video, Music, free deliveries) into a tier with advertising.
In other words, you’ll pay what you are paying now for Amazon Prime Video, but your streaming will be interrupted by adverts.
Don’t want ads popping up to interrupt The Wheel of Time, or whatever other big-name show you happen to be watching? Then you’ll need to pay an extra bit of cash to avoid having adverts shown.
Amazon will charge an extra $2.99 in the US to stream Prime without advertisements, and presumably charges in other regions will fall in line with this increase (only the US price is talked about, though).
As mentioned, the shift to a default ad-based tier for Prime Video will happen early in 2024, though an exact date hasn’t been confirmed yet, we’re told.
This is happening in the US, and UK, as well as Canada and Germany early next year, with Australia, France, Italy, Spain, and Mexico to see the shift to a default ad-supported tier later in 2024.
Amazon assures us that Prime viewers will be told a “few weeks” ahead of the move happening, though, so they can change their subscription if they wish to avoid seeing any ads.
Analysis: A real shocker – but is it quite as devastating at it first sounds?
We’re not going to argue that this is disappointing to say the least. Very disappointing, really, but not surprising, or the actual move itself isn’t – some kind of ad-supported tier has long been rumored for Prime, and has actually happened in India already.
The kicker, though, is that the ad-based service in India is a ‘Lite’ tier which is cheaper, and we’re a bit shocked Amazon isn’t going this route in the US, UK and elsewhere.
A more affordable subscription tier that relies on ads is one thing, as at least there’s a value proposition element to that. Just being told that Prime Video is going to get adverts, and, well, you’ll just have to put up with them, that feels like a low blow. Don’t want ads? Then pay more cash, folks, and don’t bellyache about it.
We’re not happy about this at all, and we can imagine plenty of other Prime Video subscribers won’t be. Will they vote with their feet? That’s entirely possible, we feel, especially when other ad-supported tiers from rival streaming services knock the price down.
All that said, and those grievances aired, there is something else to take into account here. Namely: how intrusive will these adverts be? That we don’t know, but Amazon has made some positive noises here about there being ‘meaningfully fewer’ adverts than with linear TV (meaning your normal terrestrial or cable viewing).
That might mean – might being the operative word here – light touch adverts, in terms how many ads are slung at viewers, and the time this eats up. Some of you may watch Freevee, an Amazon streaming service that’s free but ad supported (and will incidentally remain unaffected by this new change), and like us, you may not hate the adverts on that platform (totally).
Mainly because on Freevee, ad interruptions are kept very brief and they’re not numerous throughout any given show. In fact, we can handle Freevee ads without much aggravation, given their quantity and the nature of the time sink here, so maybe Amazon Prime Video adverts will be the same, or similar?
Possibly, but somehow, we’re already doubting this. This is a crucial aspect of the new ad-supported tier, really, and we’re just going to have to stay as optimistic as we can as to how Amazon might implement things.
If Freevee is anything to go by, maybe this won’t be a complete disaster, but Amazon is very much playing with fire here, and we’re having trouble not thinking the worst is coming, in all honesty. Let’s hope we’re wrong, but regardless, we’d still far prefer the idea of an ad subscription tier that brings down the asking price…
You might also like
- Here are the best streaming deals available right now
- All the best Prime Video series: 38 great TV shows to watch
- 7 new movies and shows on Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus and more