Commencing on February 5, 2024, Amazon is set to introduce advertisements to its Prime Video streaming service, with customers in the UK and Germany encountering “limited” ads unless they choose to pay £2.99 per month for an ad-free experience. This move follows the industry trend where streaming competitors like Disney+ and Netflix have introduced more affordable ad-supported memberships amid subscription price hikes.
Amazon clarified that the addition of ads would enable them to “continue investing in compelling content” while promising users “meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers.” Even with the option to go ad-free, live content such as sports will retain advertising.
US and Canada customers will witness ads slightly earlier, starting on January 29, 2024, and Amazon has plans to extend this feature to France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia later in the same year. However, UK users might find the ad-free pricing less favourable compared to Germany, where the charge is €2.99 (£2.60), and the US, where it stands at $2.99 (£2.35).
An Amazon Prime subscription, which includes one-day delivery and streaming services, underwent its last price adjustment in 2022, with monthly fees rising to £8.99 and annual membership to £95.
This strategic move towards incorporating advertisements aligns with Amazon’s broader content investment strategy. The company recently announced various content renewals, featuring hit series like Leverage: Redemption and The Boys. Furthermore, Amazon’s collaboration with Games Workshop to bring Warhammer 40,000 to the screen, with actor Henry Cavill involved, and its plans for highly anticipated series like Fallout underscore its commitment to diverse and captivating content.
This industry shift mirrors broader trends, with Disney+ expanding its ad-supported service to the UK in August 2023 and Netflix introducing a “basic with ads” streaming plan in 2022.