Amazon Prime Video users will soon have to watch ads in streamed content or pay an additional monthly fee to avoid them. The company will deploy the change in early 2024.
The Associated Press reports that Amazon will insert the ads so that the company can “continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time.” Current Amazon Prime Video original programming includes The Boys, Them, The Wheel of Time, Reacher, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (pictured, above), and many more.
The Addition of Ads by Amazon and Other Streamers Makes Consumers Rethink “Cord-Cutting”
If Amazon users don't like the idea of watching epic shows such as The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power peppered with ads for life insurance and household cleaners, they can pay an additional $2.99 a month on top of their current monthly fee to avoid them.
The Associated Press reports, “Streaming services are in a heated tug-of-war over viewers and users are growing more adept at jumping in and out of those services, often depending on price. The platforms risk losing customers with price hikes, but they could lose them if they don’t generate new content that wins over users.”
Only a few years ago, streamers such as Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu encouraged viewers to “cut the cord” and free themselves from the ads and hidden charges of cable companies. It worked, and people ditched traditional cable in favor of streaming providers. The problem is that in addition to the three streamers mentioned above, additional streamers such as Peacock, Disney+, Paramount, and Apple TV+ all arrived on the scene.
Disney+ will start charging $13.99 for ad-free service in October, while Netflix currently charges $15.49 for its ad-free plan. If one adds up the “ad-free” monthly subscription rates for all streamers, the total is the same or more than a monthly cable bill. Suddenly, the battle cry to “cut the cord” and “get with the times” seems less urgent. Streamers now charge a premium for an ad-free experience, so those who don't mind commercials may not bother cutting the cord if it means paying more and having seven bills instead of one cable bill.
In the United States, Amazon intends to email Prime Video users several weeks before adding ads to programming. The email will contain information about how to sign up for the ad-free option if they want to keep Prime Video the way it is — the reason they cut the cord in the first place.