Amazon Prime Video customers will soon start seeing ads while streaming movies and shows, unless, of course, they want to pay more for their subscription.
Customers in Canada will begin seeing advertisements in “early 2024,” the tech giant announced Friday, but did not give an exact date for the switch.
“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,” the company said in its statement, adding that it will “aim to have meaningfully fewer ads” than traditional broadcasters or its rivals.
Subscribers will be able to opt out of seeing ads during their streaming sessions, provided they’re OK with forking over a bit more cash.
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While a pricing plan hasn’t been announced for Canada (Global News reached out to Amazon and is awaiting a response), the company said it will roll out an ad-free tier for U.S. customers at an additional $2.99 per month.
Currently, American Prime memberships cost $14.99 per month or $139 per year, while Canadians pay $9.99 per month and $99.99 per year.
Customers will get an email in the weeks leading up to the advertising rollout, which will include the option to sign up for the ad-free tier. Amazon says there will be no change to the current price of a Prime membership in 2024.
Live events and sports, however, will continue to feature ads in the ad-free tier, the company said in its announcement.
Amazon is just the latest streaming platform making the what-feels-like-inevitable move to include ads in their once ad-free services. Rival streamers Netflix, Disney+ and Crave all offer ad-supported tiers of service, at a lower cost.
The introduction of ad-supported streaming is just one of the ways media companies are trying to make their streaming businesses profitable — many have also implemented crackdowns on password sharing in recent years.
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