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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Amazon to run ads with Prime Video shows — unless you pay more

If you want to watch Amazon Prime Video shows and movies without advertisements, the service is about to get more expensive — about $3 more per month, or $36 a year.

Amazon on Friday said it will start running ads in its Prime Video content in early 2024, placing commercials into its shows and movies that so far had been ad-free for Prime subscribers, who pay $139 a year for the membership.

Customers who pay the new fee of $2.99 a month to keep their Prime Video content free of ads will effectively see their annual membership price increase by 26%. People who subscribe to Prime Video as a standalone service now pay $8.99 per month, which means adding on the ad-free option would boost their subscription price by 33%.

Customers can maintain their current Prime membership rate, although they’ll also be faced with watching ads on Prime Video shows like “The Wheel of Time” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Amazon said it will add “limited advertisements,” but the company is essentially asking customers to pay an additional $2.99 per month to maintain the same level of service they currently enjoy.

“We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers,” Amazon said in the statement, adding that the fee is necessary so it can “continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time.”

Ads will first be introduced into Prime Video shows in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Canada in early 2024, with Amazon planning to include ads later in the year for customers in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia. “No action is required for Prime members,” Amazon said.

“We will email Prime members several weeks before ads are introduced into Prime Video with information on how to sign up for the ad-free option if they would like,” it noted.

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