Amazon Prime Users Furious Over New Charge

Streaming giant Amazon has officially joined the ranks of other companies such as Netflix and Disney+ by adding ads to its Prime Video streaming service.

The change, which began rolling out to users in the U.S. on Monday, comes four months after Amazon first announced its plans to incorporate ads into its streaming platform. While American users now have the option to upgrade to an ad-free experience for an additional $2.99 per month, the default viewing experience on Prime Video will now include limited ads. This move is part of Amazon’s efforts to continue investing in its content and maintain a competitive edge in the crowded streaming market.

According to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Prime Video is an integral part of the company’s overall Prime membership value proposition and is often one of the top two drivers of new customers signing up for the service. This makes it crucial for Amazon to continuously improve and invest in Prime Video’s content and user experience. However, with rising production costs and competition from other streaming platforms, incorporating ads may provide Amazon with a new and consistent revenue stream to support its content investments.

Currently, users can choose between a $14.99 monthly subscription for an ad-free experience or an $8.99 monthly subscription for the default ad-supported option. The ad-free plan is in addition to the overall Prime membership fee, which remains at $14.99 per month. This price has remained steady for Prime since 2022, and for those who do not upgrade to the ad-free option, live events and Amazon Freevee programming will continue to include ads.

Other streaming services such as Netflix have also introduced ad-supported tiers in certain countries, in an effort to appeal to a wider audience and generate more revenue. Netflix’s ad-supported plan has been particularly successful, with a reported 23 million monthly active users and a jump of almost 70% in subscriptions between the third and fourth quarters of 2023. The company has stated its plans to continue investing in this tier as a substantial revenue stream in the future.

As the streaming market becomes increasingly competitive, companies are looking for new ways to stand out and attract customers. This has led to a rise in the prices of ad-free plans and more platforms incorporating ads into their services. Amazon’s move to introduce ads on Prime Video may also be a strategic play to encourage more users to sign up for a full Prime membership at $14.99 per month, rather than the cheaper Prime Video plan.

While some users may be disappointed with the introduction of ads on Prime Video, others may welcome the option to upgrade and enjoy an ad-free experience. Furthermore, Amazon’s expansion of its ad-supported offerings could potentially open up new opportunities for advertisers to reach a vast audience through Prime Video. This could be a significant advantage for Amazon in the advertising market, as the company continues to diversify and expand its revenue streams.

As of now, Amazon has not announced which countries outside of the U.S. will see the addition of ads on Prime Video. However, it is likely that this change will eventually roll out to other markets, given the success of ad-supported plans for other streaming services. As the demand for streaming services continues to grow, companies will need to find new ways to balance cost and revenue to stay competitive.

For now, only time will tell how successful Amazon’s ad-supported plan will be and how it will impact the company’s overall growth in the streaming market. Nonetheless, with this new move, Amazon has solidified itself as a major player in the streaming industry and is determined to continue investing in its content and providing a top-quality viewing experience for its users.


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