Amazon has told Prime Video subscribers that they will have to pay extra if they don’t want ads to interrupt their videos. In an email the company sent to its customers, it said that from January 29, it will start showing a “limited amount of ads” on movies and shows of its service. Those who want to keep their account ad-free will have to pay an additional fee of $3 per month on top of their Prime subscription.
The company first announced it was planning to serve ads alongside its content back in September, when it said the US, UK, Germany and Canada would be among the first regions to be affected. Customers in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia will have until the end of next year to decide whether they can handle the ads or pay extra. Amazon mentioned at the time that it aims to “have significantly fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers”. Although “significantly less” is a pretty vague term, Variety magazine said at the time that four minutes per hour seemed to be the lowest amount of ad time for the streaming platform.
Amazon reiterated that goal in an email it sent to subscribers. It also explained that introducing ads to its service and charging for ad-free viewing will help it invest “in attractive content and increase investment in the long term”. The company told subscribers they would start seeing ads automatically by the end of January and pointed to a website where they could pay extra for ad-free viewing. On its information page about this change, Amazon specified that it will no longer serve ads for rented or purchased content.