Amazon Prime Video is changing the way folks view it, starting today with a new ad-supported tier! So what does this mean, and how can you continue to play without ads?
The draw of streaming TV has always been enjoying shows without any ads. That's driven so many successful streamers, but times have changed. The economic issues mean that several streamers are losing money and subscribers, even with price hikes.
Thus, streamers are now starting to bow to the inevitable and introduce ad-supported tiers. A few already have it, such as Paramount+, with Netflix introducing their own ad-supported tier. Prime Video is following suit while technically it's been doing so for a time with shows on Freevee. That's all part of the typical Amazon Prime membership, which currently is $15 a month or $139 annually.
So, what goes into the new ad-free and ad-filled tiers?
The new Prime Video ad tier
According to Amazon (per Cnet), the new ad-supported tier provides "meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers." A good comparison would be the free streamer Tubi, which has 60-second ad breaks roughly every ten minutes or so while watching a program.
This includes classic commercial breaks for the score of TV programs featured on Prime Video as well as for their original series. Amazon has also claimed there are no plans to increase the Prime membership fee in 2024.
How can you watch Prime Video without ads?
Now, for those who don't want to watch with ads, Amazon is offering an option with an additional three dollars a month for Prime members in the U.S. An option for those outside the U.S. will come later in the year.
To avoid paying ads, just go to the "Go Ad-Free" tab in the web or app browser. Of course, for those wanting to be a bit sneaky, there are a few ad-blocker apps that may provide a way to watch ad-free without paying more. Be warned some blockers may not work properly on Prime.
It may be annoying to some Prime Video users to have to put up with ads to watch their programs now, but it's the way the business is changing. The system is just starting up, so it'll be a few weeks before customers feel the full effects, but it shows that the streaming wars are taking some bold new directions.