Amazon Prime announced Friday morning a new plan to start placing “limited advertisements” in TV shows and movies unless customers pay an extra monthly fee.
“To continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time, starting in early 2024, Prime Video shows and movies will include limited advertisement,” an Amazon press release read.
The e-commerce giant said its streaming platform would have “fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers,” and ads in Prime Video will be introduced across the US, UK, Germany, and Canada in early 2024. Then, customers in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia will see ads in the second half of the year.
Prime Video customers who want the luxury of no ads must pay a new ad-free option for an additional $2.99 per month. Current pricing in the US for Prime memberships is around $14.99 per month, or about $139 per year if paid annually.
The Verge noted, “The introduction of ads comes at a time when Amazon is undergoing cost-cutting across the company, and arrive as price increases and ad-supported tiers launch on competing streaming services.”
Amazon already runs ads elsewhere: Its Freevee service, which doesn’t require a subscription, allows users to watch movies and TV shows. However, viewers will be bombarded with ads in exchange for free content.
Minimal ad load on streaming platforms has been the norm since debuting a decade ago. The fear is that Prime and others will become too aggressive in monetization.
The days of streaming platforms charging bargain-basement prices in pursuit of fast growth are over.
We noted last month that ‘streamflation’ has led to a revolt of Disney+ and Hulu customers as prices are set to hike next month.