Amazon will be incorporating ads into its Prime Video streaming service next year, the company announced Friday. The rollout will begin with customers in the US, the UK, Canada and Germany in early 2024, with France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia to follow later in the year. The news follows a June report from The Wall Street Journal that the retail giant had been discussing ways to introduce ads to its platform.
Amazon says Prime Video will have limited commercials, noting that there will be "meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers." However, viewers in the US who want an ad-free experience can choose to pay $3 per month, and a no-ads option will be offered for other countries at a later time.
Current subscribers will be notified about the ad rollout to Prime Video in the weeks ahead of launch. The company added that there are no plans to increase the current price of Prime memberships in 2024.
Prime Video includes original TV shows and movies created by Amazon Studios as well as hundreds of other titles you can stream as part of your subscription. Prime Video subscribers can also add on subscriptions to Max, Paramount Plus, Starz and several other channels for an extra monthly cost. There are also movies and shows you can rent or buy on the platform.
Prime Video is included in an Amazon Prime membership, which costs $15 a month or $139 annually, or available as a standalone subscription for $9 a month. CNET's review of Prime Video says it's a "really great included perk" with a Prime membership, but that it's a weaker standalone service compared with other options like Netflix and Hulu.
Netflix and Disney Plus both introduced ad-supported tiers to their services last year, joining most other major streaming services, like Max (previously HBO Max) and Hulu, which offer a plan with advertising. Paramount Plus and Peacock are on the lower end, with ad-supported plans starting at $6 a month, while Max is on the higher end, with its ad-supported plan costing $10 per month.
Amazon does have experience with ad-supported streaming, through Amazon Freevee. The streaming service, which was previously IMDb TV, doesn't require a paid subscription and is supported by limited ads. It includes a mix of Amazon and Freevee originals as well as other movies and shows. There's also a Freevee channel for Prime Video.
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