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Amazon Prime Video will start running ads on January 29th unless you pay more

Published Dec 26th, 2023 5:09PM EST
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Image: Amazon

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We already knew this day was coming, but now we finally know the exact date. Amazon has confirmed that it will start running ads on Prime Video starting on January 29, 2024.

As spotted by The Verge, the company sent out an email to Prime Video subscribers today, informing them of the change to their video streaming service. According to Amazon, bringing ads to Prime Video “will allow us to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time.”

Amazon claims that it will be showing fewer ads than other streaming services, saying in the email that “we aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers. No action is required from you, and there is no change to the current price of your Prime membership.”

If you want to get rid of the newly-added ads, the company is offering its customers a way out. Amazon is adding a new ad-free tier to Amazon Prime Video that will cost subscribers an additional $2.99 per month. Amazon originally announced that it would be bringing ads to Prime Video back in September. In a blog post, the company said that ads will be coming to the service “in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Canada in early 2024, followed by France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia later in the year.”

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 advertisements. We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers. Ads in Prime Video content will be introduced in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Canada in early 2024, followed by France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia later in the year. No action is required for Prime members. We’re not making changes in 2024 to the current price of Prime membership. We will also offer a new ad-free option for an additional $2.99 per month* for U.S. Prime members and will share pricing for other countries at a later date.We will email Prime members several weeks before ads are introduced into Prime Video with information on how to sign up for the ad-free option if they would like. 

Prime Video currently costs $8.99 by itself, so the new ad-free plan is likely to cost $11.99 per month. Prime Video is also included as part of Amazon Prime, which currently costs $14.99 per month, so that would likely increase to $17.99 per month to get rid of ads on the streaming service. of course, Amazon Prime includes a ton of other benefits as well, including:

  • Fast, free delivery on hundreds of millions of items (typically delivered in 1-2 days) and free Same-Day Delivery on more than a million items.
  • Access to exclusive and broad streaming video content (including Prime Video exclusives like The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of PowerThe Boys, Tom Clancy’s Jack RyanCitadelThe Wheel of TimeReacher, and The Summer I Turned Pretty, as well as blockbuster movies such as AirCreed IIIDungeons & Dragons, the upcoming Candy Cane Lane with Eddie Murphy, and exclusive live sports including NFL Thursday Night Football).
  • Access to Prime Video Channels, which provides an unmatched selection of subscription channels like Max, discovery+, Paramount+ with SHOWTIME, BET+, MGM+, ViX+, PBS KIDS, NBA League Pass, MLB.TV, and STARZ—with no extra apps to download, and no cable required. Customers only pay for the ones they want, and can cancel anytime.
  • The ability to use your Prime membership at other participating websites off of Amazon with Buy with Prime.
  • Exclusive deals and shopping events like Prime Day (in the summer) and Prime Big Deal Days (for the holidays).
  • Ad-free listening of 100 million songs and millions of podcast episodes with Amazon Music.
  • Prescription medications as low as $1 per month and free two-day shipping from Amazon Pharmacy.
  • Access to unlimited eligible generic prescription medications for only $5 per month (including free shipping) with RxPass from Amazon Pharmacy.
  • Free ultrafast Fresh grocery delivery on orders over $100 (and delivery charges between $6.95 to $9.95 for orders less than $100), and in-store savings on select groceries at Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market stores across the U.S.
  • Unlimited photo storage with Amazon Photos.
  • Free gaming benefits with Prime Gaming.
  • More than 3,000 books and magazines with Prime Reading.
  • A free, one-year Grubhub+ membership trial valued at $120 per year, offering unlimited $0 delivery fees on orders over $12.

It’s not surprising to see ads coming to Amazon Prime Video since ads started showing up on most of the streaming services over the last few years. Not only that but many, like Netflix, have started to raise the prices of their ad-free tiers so high that they are obviously trying to nudge customers into their ad-supported plan — where they make the most money.

One of the only streaming services that still doesn’t have an ad-supported tier is Apple TV+, but even Apple increased the price of its streaming service this year. The only way to save money on streaming services is obvious — either cancel or downgrade to the ads.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.

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