Amazon Prime Video content to start including ads next year

Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power TV seriesAmazon Studios

Amazon is set to introduce adverts to its Prime Video streaming service in 2024 as it seeks to put more cash into creating TV shows and films.

UK Prime customers, along with those in the US, Germany and Canada, will see ads early next year unless they subscribe for an “ad-free” option at an additional cost.

In a statement, Amazon said Prime Video still offered “very compelling value”.

It follows similar moves by rivals including Disney+ and Netflix.

Amazon said that the ads would be introduced across France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia later in 2024.

It will roll out the “ad-free” subscription tier for an extra $2.99 (£2.44) per month for Prime subscribers in the United States.

Pricing for other countries will be announced at a later date, Amazon said.

At the moment, a Prime subscription, which includes free one-day delivery on goods as well as access to its streaming service, costs £8.99 per month, or £95 a year, in the UK.

“To continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time, starting in 2024, Prime Video shows and movies will include limited advertisements in the UK,” Amazon said.

But in the wake of similar announcements by other streaming companies, customers have expressed their disappointment.

Disney+ announced plans for an ad-supported service in August, while Netflix introduced its “basic with ads” streaming plan last year.

It marked a massive change for Netflix, which pioneered the world of ad-free, subscription-based, streaming.

In its announcement on Friday, Amazon said that it would aim “to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers”.

The company said it would get in touch with Prime members a few weeks before ads are introduced to show how to sign-up for the ad-free option if they wish to.

Live event broadcasts, like sports matches, will still include adverts even for those who sign up to the ad-free option.

Data previously released by analysts Kantar showed that people cut back on video streaming services in their droves last year as they sought out different ways to deal with the spike in the cost of living.

It found that the number of paid-for video streaming subscriptions in the UK fell by two million, from 30.5 million to 28.5 million.

Although demand picked up around Christmas, Kantar said, people quickly looked to cut back again afterwards.

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