Amazon will include “limited advertisements” on Prime Video shows and movies beginning in 2024.
The streaming service will also offer an ad-free option at additional cost, Amazon said in a Friday (Sept. 22) blog post.
The ads will be introduced in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Canada in early 2024, and expanded to France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia later in the year, according to the post.
“We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers,” Amazon said in the post.
The ad-free option will be available for an additional $2.99 per month in the U.S., and rolled out to other countries, at an undisclosed price, at a later date, the post said. Live content like sports will continue to have advertising.
Amazon said it is introducing ads to Prime Video “to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a longer period of time.”
The company follows streaming platforms Netflix and Hulu in offering customers a choice of ad-supported and higher-cost ad-free plans
After introducing ads in 2022, Netflix found that fewer subscribers than expected shifted from the premium plan to the ad-supported plan.
“We see that engagement from ads plan users is comparable to users on our non-ads plans,” Netflix Co-CEO Greg Peters added during a January earnings call. “That’s really a promising indication that means we’re delivering a solid experience and it’s better than we modeled.”
Disney, which operates the streaming platforms Disney+ and Hulu, said in August that it is expanding its ad-supported tier for Disney+ to select markets in Europe and Canada beginning Nov. 1. In the U.S., the company will revamp its pricing and offer a new ad-free bundled subscription plan that includes Disney+ Premium and Hulu.
“The strong momentum of our ad-supported plans in the U.S. demonstrates the importance of providing consumers with choice, flexibility and value,” Joe Earley, president, direct-to-consumer at Disney Entertainment, said in an Aug. 9 press release.
These changes come at a time when streaming platforms say the cost of producing original programming and acquiring rights to films and series are leading to price hikes.