One of the reasons I enjoyed having an Amazon Prime membership was that, aside from the other perks, like free shipping, I was able to watch movies on Prime Video without having to be interrupted by commercials.
But starting today, whether I’m watching detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch solve a crime in one of the seasons of “Bosch” or completely disconnect from reality in one of the episodes from “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” I'll now have to share those shows with ads.
How many ads per hour? That depends. But according to The Wall Street Journal, "Amazon’s presentation said the average ad load per hour is expected to be between two and three-and-half minutes, which would be meaningfully smaller than traditional television and most other streaming services. Some commercials would appear before a program begins playing, while others would interrupt it."
Of course, you can still watch your favorite Amazon Prime shows without ads: But if you want that ad-free option, you’ll need to pay an additional $2.99 per month. Amazon Prime has joined Netflix and Disney, which started serving up ads to its viewers in late 2022. And with ads and steep prices plaguing Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, we noted earlier this year that Apple TV Plus is fast becoming the one true streaming service that can't be beat.
Apple TV Plus is becoming rare: An ad-free streaming service
As an Amazon Prime member, I was informed this past December that this would take place.
In the letter, Amazon wrote, “ We are writing to you today about an upcoming change to your Prime Video experience. Starting January 29, Prime Video movies and TV shows will include limited advertisements. This will allow us to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time. 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.”
Over the next few months, it will be interesting to parse the data to find out how many subscribers have decided to cancel their Amazon Prime memberships, instead of paying $2.99 to upgrade to the ad-free service. We'll have to see if those members actually find the ads "meaningfully fewer" than linear TV or other streaming TV providers.
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Terry Sullivan has tested and reported on many different types of consumer electronics and technology services, including cameras, action cams, mobile devices, streaming music services, wireless speakers, headphones, smart-home devices, and mobile apps. He has also written extensively on various trends in the worlds of technology, multimedia, and the arts. For more than 10 years, his articles and blog posts have appeared in a variety of publications and websites, including The New York Times, Consumer Reports, PCMag, Worth magazine, Popular Science, Tom’s Guide, and Artnews. He is also a musician, photographer, artist, and teacher.