As of today, January 29, 2024, Amazon's Prime Video subscription offering will become inundated with ads unless you pay an extra $2.99 in the US and £2.99 in the UK a month to get rid of them – subscribers in Australia will also see a similar price rise (we don't yet know how much) but that won't be rolled out until later this year.
If you're infuriated by the news, you're not alone. As one of the few holdouts among the best streaming services to not increase its subscription tiers last year, we had hoped that Prime Video might skip the subscription ad shakeup that Netflix, Max and Disney had jumped on last year, especially given it has a free ad-supported TV service called Freevee, but it appears financial pressures have taken hold.
The increase in price brings Prime Video's subscription costs in line with the best streaming services. Its ad-free plan now costs the same as Disney Plus, so it's not the most expensive to subscribe to when compared to the likes of Netflix – although Max is slightly pricier still.
|Row 0 - Cell 0
|Standard without ads
|$8.99 / £8.99 / AU$9.99
|$10.99 / £10.99
|$7.99 / £4.99 a month
|$10.99 / £7.99 / AU$13.99 a month
|$6.99 / £4.99 / AU$6.99 a month
|$15.49 / £10.99 / AU$16.99 a month
The news is a real drag for anyone who had been looking forward to streaming the best Prime Video series or best Prime Video movies, especially given that it has one of the larger content libraries out of the big streamers with loads of new Prime Video movies always being added to the service.
However, considering that Amazon recently laid off "several hundred'" employees from its streaming division, it appears the streamer is having to make some serious cost cutting decisions. Whether this will translate into a reduced production and acquisition slate is still up in the air.
An unwanted Amazon delivery
The rollout of a more expensive subscription tier comes off the back of Netflix confirming that it will ditch its cheapest ad-free plan globally, following the successful release of its ad-supported tier in November 2023, which attracted more than eight million new signups in just two months. That means that Netflix with ads now accounts for 10% of its total subscribers.
Amazon is hoping that it will see similar success with Prime Video. In fact, analysts have already been speculating what type of return this could bring with Lloyd Walmsely, an industry analyst at UBS, estimating that it could net as much as $6 billion every year for new signups to its plan without ads.
While that's great news for Amazon, there's no certainty about what this will mean for subscribers. Perhaps it's time to start subscription hopping, which one of our writers found cut their streaming bills by 75%, or switching to Amazon's free streaming service, Freevee, which saw more than 100 Prime Video originals added to it last year.
Otherwise, the only other two options Prime Video subscribers have if they don't want to watch commercials is either to increase their bills or cancel – here's how to cancel your Amazon Prime membership if you think you'll go down the latter route.
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Amelia became the Senior Editor for Home Entertainment at TechRadar in the UK in April 2023. With a background of more than eight years in tech and finance publishing, she's now leading our coverage to bring you a fresh perspective on everything to do with TV and audio. When she's not tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos in the ever-evolving world of home entertainment, you’ll find her watching movies, taking pictures and travelling.