Amazon Prime Video will start showing ads early next year

After Netflix and Disney+ introduced ad-supported plans last year, Amazon said in an update today that it will start showing ads on Prime Video early next year. The company said it will offer an ad-free tier for additional $3 per month to Prime members.

Amazon noted that ads will be introduced in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Canada in early 2024. Prime Video users in France, Italy, Spain and Mexico will start seeing ads later in the year. In June, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was in the early stages of planning to introduce ads to Prime Video.

The company promised to show fewer ads than linear programming — the benchmark for which is four minutes per hour, according to Variety.

“To continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time, starting in early 2024, Prime Video shows and movies will include limited advertisements. We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers,” the company said in a blog post.

In May, Amazon launched a new free and ad-supported (FAST) video experience for Fire TV devices in the U.S. In the same month, the e-commerce giant said that it is bringing more than 100 Amazon Original series and movies to its Freevee ad-supported streaming service. In August the company launched a new Fire TV Channels app with access to over 400 FAST channels.

Earlier this month, YouTube said that the company is experimenting with longer but fewer ads on TV akin to commercial breaks on linear TV.

In the last few years, Amazon has hiked the prices of its several offerings. In February 2022, the Prime annual membership went from $119 to $139. This year, the company has raised prices for Amazon Music Unlimited plans for individuals, Prime Members and families as well.

Last month, the company raised the minimum amount for free shipping for non-Prime members to $35 in some regions.