Amazon sent an email to millions of Prime Video users on Wednesday to notify them that more ads will appear on the streaming platform starting next month unless they pay an additional subscription fee.
Amazon’s Prime Video will start including "limited advertisements" on its movies and TV shows beginning on January 29. In September, Amazon made the initial announcement about the decision to include ads on the platform in 2024, though a date wasn't specified at the time.
"This will allow us to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time," Amazon wrote in the email. "We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers."
Amazon Prime Video will start including advertisements as of January 29, 2024. (Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The Prime Video platform will also offer a new ad-free subscription tier for an additional $2.99 per month. Amazon noted in the email that live event content, including sports and content offered through Amazon Freevee will continue to include advertising.
The tech giant previously indicated that the ads will also be added to the Prime Video platform in early 2024 for users in the U.K., Germany and Canada in addition to the U.S., while France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia will follow suit later in 2024.
Standalone Prime Video subscriptions currently cost $8.99 per month, although the service is included with no additional charge for Amazon Prime memberships, which cost $14.99 monthly or $139 annually.
Amazon Prime Video users will have to pay an additional $2.99 per month to use the ad-free version of the platform. ((Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)
Amazon noted that no action is required from Prime Video users and there is no change to the current price of users’ Prime memberships.
The company’s email also listed the other benefits that come with a Prime membership in case some users reconsider their subscription as a result of the expanding presence of ads on the platform. It also hinted that "you can expect additional features and programs added in the future for our Prime members."
Multiple streaming services have raised subscription prices or incorporated ads into the platform in recent months. ((Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
Prime Video is one of several streaming services to raise subscription fees or incorporate ads onto their platforms while creating ad-free subscriptions in recent months.
Streaming giant Netflix announced price hikes on some of its plans in October – increasing its Premium membership to $22.99 per month and its Basic plan to $11.99, increases of $2 and $3, respectively.
Apple TV+ raised its subscription fee in October by $3 to $9.99 per month – a year after a $2 hike brought the monthly cost to $6.99.
The ad-free subscription plan for Warner Bros. Discovery-owned Discovery+ also went up in October by $2 to $8.99 per month.
Other popular streaming services like Disney+, Hulu, Max and Paramount Plus also include ads on their cheapest subscription tiers.
FOX Business’s Greg Norman and Aislinn Murphy contributed to this report.