As someone who has defended Netflix’s price hikes over the years, I can’t say I’m surprised to hear that Amazon will raise the price of its Prime Video streaming service next year. But the way Amazon is doing it is a little different, as the company will essentially force ads on all Amazon Prime subscribers who get free access to the giant retailer’s streaming service. The only way to avoid the ads will be to pay an extra fee each month, on top of your pricey Prime subscription.
Prime Video’s ad-free experience will cost an extra $2.99/month on top of your Prime subscription or your current Prime Video subscription. The move makes sense in the grander scheme of things because many of Amazon’s biggest rivals have already launched cheaper ad-based subscription tiers.
But the good news in all of this is that Amazon won’t change the price of its Amazon Prime subscription next year. Instead, current subscribers will automatically start seeing ads unless they pay to upgrade.
Amazon on Friday announced the Prime Video change. Amazon says it needs to show ads to boost revenue and continue to deliver great content:
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.
To be fair, Prime Video is the home of several exciting movies and TV shows. There’s definitely value in there, and, as a subscriber myself, I probably won’t mind the ads. Assuming Amazon doesn’t overdo it. But it’s unclear what Amazon’s “limited” advertising experience will look like.
Initially, Amazon will show Prime Video ads in the US, UK, Germany, and Canada early next year. Then, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia will follow later in 2024.
Amazon says it’ll also introduce an additional $2.99/month fee to remove ads. That essentially means you’ll be paying $36 a year on top of your current Amazon Prime subscription. Live events will continue to feature ads, however.
But Amazon says it’s not raising the Prime membership. It’s up to subscribers to decide whether to enjoy free access with ads or go for the ad-free experience. As a reminder, Amazon’s fee for Prime was recently increased to $14.99/month or $139/year.
Amazon says it will email Prime members several weeks before ads are introduced. That’s when we’ll get information about signing up for the ad-free Prime Video tier.