Amazon Prime Video began running commercials on its streaming service on Monday for users who decline to pay an extra $2.99 a month for its new ad-free option.
Announcing the switch in September, Amazon pointed to its increased investments in Prime Video, which is home to dozens of movies, TV shows, Amazon Originals, premium channels and some sports programming. The extra $2.99 charge, or the addition of limited advertisements for those who choose not to pay, will allow Amazon to continue “investing in compelling content,” the company said at the time.
Amazon maintained it aims to have “meaningfully fewer ads” than linear television and other streaming providers. The launch of ads began Monday for Prime Video users in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Canada, with France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia to follow later this year.
The move follows a series of other streaming companies, including Netflix and Disney+, which have moved to tiered subscriptions and increased subscription prices. Streaming services like Hulu, Paramount+ and Peacock also offer ad-supported plans.
Prime Video is included in an Amazon Prime subscription, which costs users $15 a month or $139 annually. It is also offered as a standalone subscription for $9 a month, excluding the new $2.99 ad-free option.
While Amazon and analysts are not anticipating the transition to prompt a significant amount of users off the streaming service, a growing number of American consumers have signaled an increased subscription fatigue, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
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