Amazon will start featuring advertisements on content streamed on Prime Video, the company said on Friday, making it the latest streaming service to turn to commercials to raise revenue.
The changes, which will go into effect early next year, will apply in the United States, Canada, Britain and Germany, unless subscribers pay more to opt out. Amazon said that U.S. subscribers will have to pay an additional $2.99 per month for an ad-free service, and that it would disclose pricing for users in other countries at a later date.
Ads will be rolled out to Prime subscribers in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia later in 2024, the company said.
“To continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time, starting in early 2024, Prime Video shows and movies will include limited advertisements,” Amazon said in a statement. The statement added that Amazon would have fewer ads than other streaming providers and that the company would not make any further changes to the price for the rest of 2024.
Streaming services including Netflix and Disney+ had long resisted commercials, but over the last year, several have begun to feature ads in an effort to cope with rising costs and as subscriptions decline after a surge at the start of the pandemic.
Netflix reported a rise in revenue in the second quarter of this year and added 5.9 million subscribers, growth that it attributed to a new ad-supported membership tier that was introduced in November, as well as a crackdown on password sharing. In July, Netflix said it would no longer allow customers to sign on to its $9.99 monthly ad-free subscription plan. New subscribers could instead choose between an ad-supported plan for $6.99 a month or one of two ad-free options that cost either $15.49 or $19.99 a month.
Disney+ introduced a new ad-supported tier in December.
In the United States, an Amazon Prime membership, which includes access to Prime Video, costs $14.99 per month. A subscription to Prime Video alone costs $8.99 per month.
Amazon MGM Studios received 68 Primetime Emmy Award nominations this year. Its show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which streams on Amazon Prime, became the most Emmy-nominated streaming comedy ever, Amazon said.