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Amazon Prime Video Latest Streaming Service to Follow Netflix in Tapping Ads

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon has set the date for Prime Video’s addition of advertisements into the viewing experience, as streaming companies increasingly find new ways to drive revenue from their content libraries.

The eCommerce giant informed subscribers in an email that it will add ad breaks starting Jan. 29, charging an extra $2.99/month for the option to continue watching content without these interruptions, according to The Verge.

“We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers,” the company reportedly told its customers.

Certainly, advertisements are coming to play a growing role in streaming. Netflix, for instance, launched its ad-supported tier last year, though the tier’s underperformance earlier this year caused the platform to expand seek more or different ad partners, adjust prices and innovate placements. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max streaming subscription has seen its shift to ad-supported models helps drive revenue increases.

Additionally, streaming services are finding ways to monetize their content beyond just bringing in ad revenue. Disney+, for its part, is looking into launching gaming and shopping options.

Netflix, meanwhile, announced in October that it plans to open retail stores called “Netflix House” in 2025. These stores will be a combination of retail, dining and live experiences, presenting consumers with the opportunity shop for clothing and merchandise related to their series and also to order themed food and participate in various on-site activities.

Indeed, consumers are open to streaming-linked shopping integrations, according to the PYMNTS Intelligence “How We Will Pay Report: How Connected Devices Enable Multitasking Among Digital-First Consumers,” which drew from a survey of more than 4,600 U.S. consumers.

The study found that 1 in 3 consumers would be interested in the option, when watching their favorite streamed series on connected devices, to purchase items of clothing or accessories that they see on the actors in therein, with embedded product pages and purchasing capabilities.

Prime Video already offers such options, presenting recommendations of other products and services through its Prime Video X-Ray feature. The shopping capability is currently only available on select titles including “Making the Cut,” “Wonder Woman 1984” and Savage x Fenty, as well as on NFL games through Amazon’s Fire TV device.

Plus, the company has been adding more shopping-focused content, including its  “The Victoria’s Secret World Tour,” a “re-imagined fashion show,” accompanied by tour-inspired prodcuts, with a “Shop the Collection” button embedded in the Prime Video app.

Granted, many consumers consider their spending on streaming services to be extravagant enough as is.

According to “New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report – The Nonessential Spending Deep Dive Edition,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and LendingClub collaboration, which draws from a survey of more than 3,400 U.S. consumers, 25% of respondents reported that they spend indulgently on streaming service. Financially struggling consumers were the most likely to say that their spending in the category has been indulgent, with 29% of those who live paycheck to paycheck with issues paying bills reporting as much.

Plus, additional PYMNTS Intelligence finds that, when consumers cut back on their monthly bills, streaming subscriptions are the first to get dropped.