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Ads are coming to Prime Video’s entertainment content. Commercials in movies and series will be introduced in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Canada in early 2024, followed by France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia later in the year.
Prime Video viewers got their first taste of ads on the platform after Amazon landed exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football in a $13.2 billion, 11-year deal that began in 2022. The live football telecasts have been airing with commercial breaks, which will now expand to non-sports content.
There are no details about how big the ad load will be, with Amazon saying that commercials will be “limited” and the goal is “to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers.”
In addition to free shipping and other benefits, for their monthly fee — currently at $14.99 — Prime members have been able to watch Prime Video films and series ad-free. Those who want to continue to do so next year will have to pay an additional fee, set at $2.99 per month in the U.S. The rest will watch shows and movies that feature ads, with their monthly Prime membership remaining unchanged.
According to Amazon, adding ads will allow the company to continue investing in content and increasing that investment over time.
Once frowned upon by streamers, a dual subscription-ad model — and the dual revenue stream that comes with it — has become the norm. With Amazon Prime adopting ads across its entire content portfolio on the heels of Netflix and Disney+ introducing ad tiers, Apple TV+ remains the only major streaming platform to employ a pure subscription model.
This marks the next step in Amazon’s advertising ambitions. The company has spent the past several years mounting a major ad offensive, through both live sports as well as ad-supported sibling Prime Video platforms such as Freevee and Twitch. While the $38 billion that Amazon took in from advertising last year is a small share of its $502 billion in total annual revenue, it is growing at a more than 20% quarterly clip.
Prime Video originals include series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Boys, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Citadel, The Wheel of Time, Reacher, and The Summer I Turned Pretty, as well as movies Air, Creed III, Dungeons & Dragons, and the upcoming Candy Cane Lane with Eddie Murphy.