Amazon Prime Video is set to introduce ads and offer a higher-priced ad-free tier in an effort to address slowing subscriber growth since the pandemic.
The company plans to roll out ads in the US, the UK, Germany, and Canada in early 2024, followed by other countries later in the year. The ad-free tier will come at an additional cost of $2.99 per month in the US. Netflix and Disney have also adopted similar strategies, hoping that increased ad revenue will compensate for slower subscriber additions.
Despite the introduction of ad-supported plans, growth in this segment has been sluggish. Netflix recently discontinued its basic ad-free plan in the US and UK, while Disney raised prices for its ad-free tiers. Amazon already displays ads on live event content, such as NFL’s Thursday Night Football, even for subscribers who have paid for the ad-free plan.
The company stated that it plans to show fewer ads compared to traditional TV and other streaming providers and will not increase prices for the current Prime membership plan in 2024.
While Amazon does not disclose specific Prime membership numbers, it is estimated to have 157.3 million subscribers in the US, making it the third-largest video-streaming platform in the country after YouTube and Netflix.