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Amazon Prime to start showing ads next month

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Amazon has announced that ads will soon start appearing in TV shows and movies on its popular Prime Video streaming platform. The change takes effect on January 29th, 2023 in the US, UK, Germany and Canada, before extending to other parts of the world.

In an email sent to Prime subscribers, Amazon stated the limited advertisements will help the company “continue investing in compelling content” for the service. Ad-free viewing can be retained for an extra $2.99 monthly fee.

Prime Video has streamed ad-free since launching in 2006 as part of the wider Amazon Prime membership program. Rival platforms like Netflix have recently shifted to including commercials in their lowest subscription tiers.

Amazon aims to minimize ads compared to traditional television. But the move has already drawn customer complaints about paying more on top of Prime’s $139 annual cost.

The company is allowing current subscribers to pre-register now for the ad-free option before ads start. However, the charge will not apply until late January.

Prime Video offers a vast catalog of movies, shows, and original programming as a perk for overall Prime membership focused on free shipping and other benefits.

Standalone Prime Video subscriptions also exist for $8.99 per month. The ad-supported base package and $2.99 ad-free upgrade will apply to both Prime bundles next year.

Read also: Android users may soon get Battery Health insights in settings

Experts view the change as part of Amazon’s major advertising push in recent years. The company now draws substantial revenue from ads on its live sports and free streaming channels.

While frustrating to some users, analysts say Amazon Prime must keep boosting content investments to stay competitive in the crowded streaming landscape. Introducing ads provides a new revenue source to help achieve this.

The change will eventually extend to France, Italy, Spain, Australia and Mexico later in 2023. But for now, millions of Prime subscribers will soon see commercials interrupt their streaming.

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