Amazon said on Friday that Prime Video subscribers will start seeing ads on shows and movies from early 2024 (an exact date for the rollout is to be determined) unless they buy an ad-free subscription.
In early 2024, subscribers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada will begin to see the ads. Later that year, ads will be served to the users in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia.
Amazon says the ad tier will be the default option for Prime Video, which costs $14.99 a month or $139 a year. The cost of a basic Prime subscription won’t increase, according to the company, but those who prefer to watch Prime Video without ads will have to fork up an additional $2.99 a month. The company stated that it would later disclose pricing for other countries.
A few weeks prior to the start of Prime Video ads, Amazon will notify consumers and provide advice on how to sign up for ad-free streaming. The company plans to run “meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers.”
Amazon’s live events content, such as its Thursday Night Football broadcast, already include ads. These events will continue to include ads even if users have paid for the ad-free plan, Amazon said.
With the latest move, Amazon joins Netflix, Max, Disney+ in pursuing the additional money that advertising can bring on top of membership prices. At the end of the last year, Disney+ launched its ad-supported tier in the United States, at $7.99/month. In November 2022, Netflix launched its $6.99 plan called “Basic with Ads.”
According to Amazon, Prime Video ads will aid the streaming service in maintaining long-term investments in programming, such as original series and live sports like the NFL’s Thursday Night Football franchise.