Amazon Prime Video will start showing ads from January 2024

Plus introduces an additional $2.99 fee to avoid advertisements

Amazon Prime Video on a TV

Amazon has recently announced that starting from January 29, 2024, it will start placing “limited advertisements” in TV shows and movies running on its Prime Video streaming platform. This move is to enable the platform to “continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time.”

This new update will be introduced in the US, UK, Germany and Canada first, according to an earlier press release. France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia will follow later in the year. The timeline for other parts of the world including Africa hasn’t been disclosed yet.

“We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers. No action is required from you, and there is no change to the current price of your Prime membership,” the company said in the statement. Customers have the option of paying an additional $2.99 per month to avoid advertisements.

Amazon Prime currently costs $14.99 each month or $139 annually – Prime Video can be subscribed to individually for $8.99/month. The new charge for ad-free streaming would increase Prime subscription to $17.99 and standalone Prime Video to just $11.99.  Across African countries, Prime video subscription is ₦‎2,300 ($2.3) in Nigeria,  KES 560.00 ($3.58) in Kenya and  R79.00 ($4.29) in South Africa. 

This move is in response to a hike in the prices of competing streaming services over the past year. Netflix subscription price is at an all-time high, with a price increase from $19.99 to $22.99 in 2023; Apple TV rose from $6.99 to $9.99 this year; and Hulu increased from 14.99 to $17.99 this same year. To cater for customers who can’t afford the price hike, Disney Plus, Hulu, Max, Netflix, and Paramount Plus have included ads in their low-end tiers. 

Amazon Prime Video has only recently started making inroads in the African streaming markets as it contends with Netflix and Showmax. Considering the low purchasing power of the African market, it’s likely that ads will be introduced sooner rather than later.

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