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Amazon Prime Video begins showing ads today, unless you pay a few bucks per month more

Amazon Prime Video

As promised by the company in late December 2023, Amazon Prime Video members will begin to see advertisements before and during those videos for the first time starting today.

amazon prime video message

People who access Prime Video on their PCs via a web browser will see a new pop-up message today informing them that the streaming service now has "limited ads." It also offers a way for users to get rid of the commercials for an extra $2.99 a month.

The price for Amazon Prime membership, which includes access to Prime Video along with two-day free shipping and other features and benefits, will remain, for now, at $14.99 a month or for $149 a year. The retailer has not yet offered its members a subscription plan that includes Amazon Prime and the ad-free Amazon Prime Video for a monthly or yearly price. Such a split pricing plan could cause some confusion among Prime members.

A month ago, Amazon said showing ads on Prime Video would "allow us to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time." The company added that this new "feature" will show "fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers."

According to The Wall Street Journal, many Amazon Prime members could end up canceling their membership due to putting in ads in Prime Videos' movies and shows. That means they would also lose their free shipping benefits and other features. The Washington Post quotes Mike Proulx, a research director at Forrester, who is highly critical of this move:

They’re offering no additional value and simply forcing ads on consumers. Consumers in effect are losing out on this move, and it’s all Amazon’s gain.

Most of the major streaming services now offer ad-based plans, although at far lower monthly prices than Amazon Prime Video now has. With Amazon's change, the only major streaming service that is completely ad-free is Apple TV Plus, at $9.99 a month, although its library of streaming shows and movies is far less than its competition.

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