Amazon recently confirmed a rollout date for earlier announced plans to integrate ads into Prime Video.
Prime Video users can expect to see advertisements in the middle of their content beginning on January 29th.
Citing the move as a strategy to enhance content investment, Amazon assured limited advertisements, aiming for fewer interruptions than traditional TV and rival streaming platforms.
The email to customers clarified no changes in Prime subscription fees, providing an opt-out option for an additional $2.99/month to retain ad-free viewing.
Concerns surfaced among users, expressing dissatisfaction with potential service disruption and increased costs.
Currently priced at $14.99/month or $139 annually for Prime, the ad-free streaming increase would elevate the cost to around $18, with standalone Prime Video reaching nearly $12.
The announcement coincides with rising subscription rates and ad inclusions by competing platforms like Disney Plus, Hulu, Max, Netflix, and Paramount Plus on their lower-priced tiers.
Amazon emphasizes Freevee, their ad-supported service, affirming the continuance of ads on live events and Freevee content.
While Amazon Prime’s base cost remains unchanged, maintaining the existing ad-free experience post-January 29th will necessitate higher fees, prompting users to reevaluate their streaming preferences amidst evolving subscription structures and ad introductions.
Last year viewers of streaming content surpassed traditional cable content for the first time, when it accounted for 34.8 percent of daily TV consumption, versus 34.4 percent for cable and 21.6 percent for broadcast.
Many Millennial and GenZ viewers have disconnected completely from cable citing lack of ad content as one reason.
But this latest trend to add additional commercials to streaming content makes many wonder if the streaming services are just taking the place of the content platforms they supplanted.