Amazon wants to boost its streaming offers with ads and a new ad-free tier for select markets next year, following the likes of Netflix and Disney+.
Amazon is introducing ads to its Prime Video streaming service across many markets next year.
The company said in an announcement today (22 September) that users of Prime Video in the US, UK, Germany and Canada will be exposed to ads during their viewing experience even though the cost will remain the same.
Those who wish to remove ads, Amazon said, will have to pay for an increased ad-free tier of the streaming service, which in the US comes at an additional cost of $2.99 per month.
While Amazon will start with these countries, the ads will roll out in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia later next year. There is no indication of an introduction of ads for Irish users.
“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,” Amazon wrote in its statement.
“We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers.”
Prime members will be notified “several weeks” before the ads are introduced on Prime Video via an email, which will also contain information on signing up for the ad-free tier.
Amazon’s plans to introduce this ad-supported tier was first reported in June, as a way for the company to boost its income as it increases investment in its content. Prime Video is the third most popular streaming service after Netflix and Disney+.
The decision comes amid a period of cost cutting for Amazon, as the tech giant had disappointing financial results in 2022. In March, Amazon revealed plans to let go of 9,000 employees on top of the 18,000 it laid off in January.
Earlier in the summer, Disney revealed plans to raise the prices of Disney+ ad-free subscriptions, while bringing its cheaper ad-based subscription model to Europe by the end of 2023.
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