Over the past year, Netflix and Disney+ have begun running ads on their streaming services, and it’s a trend that Amazon Prime Video will continue in 2024. On January 29, Amazon will follow its rivals’ example and insert commercial breaks in your favorite shows and movies on Prime Video. There will also be an ad-free tier, of course. But you’ll have to pay more to get what you used to have for free.
Via Gizmodo, Prime Video sent out the following e-mail to subscribers last year:
“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.”
It is also fair to say that Amazon has heavily invested in Prime Video, including landing the very expensive rights for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football telecasts, in addition to producing big-budget original series, including The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, The Wheel of Time, and Citadel.
Having acknowledged that, it should also be said that Amazon didn’t have to take this step. Amazon is by far one of the world’s biggest online retailers, if not the biggest. This company isn’t hurting for money, and the allure of getting free shipping on all products sold by Amazon itself, as well as Prime Video for a relatively low few, has proven to be a very successful formula. If Netflix and Disney+ hadn’t already done the same thing, Prime Video probably would not have made any adjustments at this time.
Thankfully, Prime Video did not take a more drastic step to cut costs. An alternative would have been to separate Prime Video from the Amazon Prime subscription. Amazon could theoretically still do that at some point in the future, but it would likely cost them a lot of their subscribers to both services. Prime Video has been linked to Amazon Prime since its debut, and losing one of its key selling points is something that even Amazon should be wary of.
Out of the major streamers, Apple TV+ is currently the only one that does not run commercials on its platform. Much like Amazon itself, Apple makes so much money with its various products that it can afford to offer Apple TV+ at a loss because the service is both an incentive for consumers and an advertisement for Apple itself. Regardless, there’s no guarantee that Apple won’t start putting ads in at a later date, especially since everyone else is doing it.
The standard rate for Amazon Prime Video with ads will hold steady at $14.99 for now. Viewers who don’t want the ads will have to pay an additional $2.99 a month, or $17.98 total.
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