Advertisements and commercials during TV shows and movies are grim realities most people accept, but generally dislike. For years, Amazon Prime Video members dodged commercials — a perk of buying a subscription. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end.
As of today, January 29, 2024, Amazon Prime Video viewers who want to avoid ads during shows and movies have to pay an extra $2.99 monthly fee. This cost is on top of the $139 annual or $14.99 per month fee of an Amazon Prime subscription, or the standalone $8.99 per month Amazon Prime Video subscription.
No action is required by members, and the current price of a Prime membership will remain the same if viewers choose not to pay the extra fee. However, commercial breaks during Prime Video content will become a basic part of the viewing experience.
What to know about Amazon Prime Video ads
Last September, Amazon announced its intent to add commercials but said it hoped to show "meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers."
In an email sent to Prime members about the pending shift to limited advertisements, the company said, “The $2.99 fee will allow us to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time.”
According to the company's financial statements, advertising accounts for more than 8% of Amazon’s total net sales and now surpasses income from its subscription services. Even so, Amazon continues to sustain losses from licensing and distribution of video content, which may be behind the new fee and also why many other streaming services have raised prices on their cheapest plans.
This new $2.99 fee comes on the heels of recent changes in Amazon Prime Music subscriptions. Although Amazon Music added 98 million songs to the platform's music library free of charge (with no ads) for Prime members, members can only play individual songs if they upgrade to Amazon Unlimited at $9 per month.
For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.
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