Tired of ads? That’s too bad because you should be gearing up to see them everywhere, with Amazon Prime Video ads the next to start with advertising on their OTT services. Amazon’s streaming service has been long known as one of the more affordable streaming services with its own original content that comes closest to rivaling, and sometimes overtaking, the absolute dominance of Netflix in the industry. Instead of hiking up the Amazon Prime costs for a basic subscription, the company has chosen to instead add advertising to see its revenue increase from that stream instead. Customers who are really averse to the advertising do have the option of paying an additional monthly fee to get rid of them, but the cash grab is off-putting to consumers regardless of how they choose to go about it.
Amazon Prime Video Ads to Begin in January
Amazon’s streaming service had announced that they would be adding advertising into their services earlier in the year, but an official email to subscribers has marked 29 January as the date they should expect to see the shift in the viewing experience. Amazon Prime Video is going to feature “meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers” according to the company, but what exactly this means remains unspecified as an intrusive ad experience can disrupt your viewing experience regardless of what it contains.
Currently, an Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99 per month or $139 per year, and unlike other streaming services where you pay for the streaming experience only, the Prime membership does give you additional benefits like free delivery services and exclusive deals for your Amazon purchases. It sweetens the deal much more for those who want to make the investment and has to be acknowledged. According to CNBC, JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth estimated the Amazon Prime membership to be worth around $1,000 if all the additional services and benefits were considered separately. The standard plans are reasonable but those interested in continuing an ad-free experience of Amazon’s streaming service will have to pay an additional $2.99 per month.
In addition to their standard plan, Amazon also offers two discounted services. Prime Access offers a $6.99 monthly subscription plan for “qualifying government assistance recipients, including SNAP EBT and Medicaid.” Another $7.49 per month or $69 per year subscription plan is available for students. It is unclear whether these services can also be charged the same $2.99 to their Amazon Prime costs. Amazon’s Freevee service, another free streaming service previously known as IMDb TV, and other live event content will continue to include advertising so there are no changes on that front.
Comparing Amazon Prime Video Ads Plan to Competitors
Amazon’s streaming service is not the only one that has turned to advertising in order to boost its revenue. Other streaming platforms have been slowly introducing ads into their lower-tier subscription plans in the hope of earning from advertising or pushing users to switch to their more premium plans instead. Netflix’s ad-supported plan saw a lot of resistance when it was first introduced but one year into the service, the company has reportedly found 15 million global monthly active Basic With Ads users worldwide and the ad revenues are predicted to reach $1.03 billion in 2024, according to Insider Intelligence. Some of the streaming services and subscription plans include:
- Standard with ads: Ad-supported plan for 2 devices at $6.99 per month
- Standard: Ad-free experience for 2 devices at $15.49 per month
- Premium: Ad-free experience on 4 devices at $22.99 per month
Users can add an additional member to the standard and premium plans for $7.99 per month.
- Ad-supported plan: $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year
- Hulu for students: $1.99 per month ad-supported plan
- Ad-free plan: $17.99 per month
Hulu also offers Hulu+ Live TV plans that can be combined with other subscription services.
The subscription service is only available in limited locations which include the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Fortunately, it can be used through partner services like Amazon Prime and Hulu for an additional fee.
- Ad-Lite: Available for two devices at $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year
- Ad-Free: Available for two devices at $15.99 per month or $149.99 per year
- Ultimate Ad-Free: Available for four devices at $19.99 per month or $199.99 per year
- Disney+ Basic: Ad-supported experience for $7.99 per month
- Disney+ Premium: Ad-free experience and downloadable content for $13.99 per month or $139.99 per year
There are additional Disney Bundle plans that allow a Disney+ subscription to be paired with other streaming services.
The news of Amazon Prime Video’s ads is unsurprising and it seems that we’re slowly moving back to the same conditions that had promoted the shift away from cable to begin with. While streaming services do provide the benefit of being able to watch what you want whenever you want, the downside is that the number of subscriptions to stay on top of everything the entertainment industry has to offer is slowly stacking up to be quite expensive for an average user. With the return of ads, we are only one step away from a complete takeover by advertising no matter where you look, whether on YouTube, Spotify, or the streaming service of your choice.