Last month, Amazon Ads published research saying that almost nine in 10 (89%) respondents said they are receptive to streaming TV ads that are interesting, relevant or help to keep subscription costs down. That triggered a bit of an alarm bell as it sounded like a soft announcement for Prime Video Ads. At the time I said:
The thing that worries me about this research, is that currently the only ads that Prime Video carries is ads when browsing for more video content. Does this research herald the possibility of ad supported Prime Video, for which my greatest delight is that films are currently never interrupted by ads? Or could it be in indication that Prime Video might evolve into a two tier system, where those that are happy to have content interrupted by ads pay one price, and those that detest ads pay a premium?
Today Amazon confirmed my fears, saying that Prime Video Ads would be coming in 2024. And as predicted there will be an option to pay a premium to remove the ads. Amazon have promised that there will be no where near as many ads as appear on normal TV, so it’s unlikely your film will be interrupted every ten or fifteen minutes. Being ever hopeful, it might be that you simply have to endure ads while making a cup of tea before your film starts, but I’m predicting it will be a more annoying disruption mid-film which will be harder to avoid.
Skipping all the very valid arguments Amazon make about the tremendous value of a Prime Subscription and their investment in Prime Originals – content created just for Prime like the hit Clarkson’s Farm, The Grand Tour and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, this is what they had to say specifically about Prime Video Ads:
To continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time, starting in 2024, Prime Video shows and movies will include limited advertisements in the UK. We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers. No action is required for Prime members. We’re not making changes in 2024 to the current price of Prime membership. We will also offer a new ad-free option and will share the price of that option at a later date. We will email Prime members several weeks before ads are introduced into Prime Video with information on how to sign up for the ad-free option if they would like.– Amazon