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Amazon Prime Video Will Start Showing Ads in January

by Elizabeth Harper on December 28, 2023

Amazon Prime Video will soon be adding ads unless you’re willing to pay more to remain ad-free. Starting January 29, 2024, you’ll need to pay an extra $2.99 per month (on top of your existing Prime or Prime Video subscription) in order to keep watching shows and movies without any advertisements. If you don’t pay up, Amazon promises there will be “meaningfully fewer ads” than traditional TV and other streaming providers – but the fact remains that you’ll now have to watch annoying commercials on a service that previously streamed ad-free.

IPhone showing entertainment apps include Amazon Prime Video.

This is a trend we’ve seen with a lot of streaming providers lately. Pricing for streaming subscriptions is on the rise, but rather than raising prices for everyone, major streaming services have started offering less expensive subscriptions supported by advertising. Here’s a look at pricing for Amazon Prime Video’s competing streaming services, with and without ads:

  • Netflix: $6.99/month with ads, $15.49/month without ads
  • Disney+: $7.99/month with ads, $13.99/month without ads
  • Hulu: $7.99/month with ads, $17.99/month without ads
  • Paramount+: $5.99/month with ads, $11.99/month without ads
  • Peacock: $5.99/month with ads, $11.99/month without ads
  • Max: $9.99/month with ads, $15.99/month without ads

Currently, Amazon Prime costs $14.99 per month (or $139 per year) for Prime Video as well as all the other benefits of Prime, most notably free 2-day shipping on all Amazon orders. If you buy Prime Video on its own, it costs $8.99 per month.

Those prices will stay the same when ads roll out later this month, if you're willing to deal with the new ad interruptions. Going ad-free on Amazon Prime, will rise to $17.98 per month. And Prime Video standalone subscriptions without ads will rise to $11.98 per month.

That prices Amazon Prime relatively similarly to others – the ad-free standalone subscription is a bit high, but in line with Paramount+ and Peacock without ads. Prime Video without ads will still be less expensive than Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, or Max without ads.

Read more: How to Share Your Amazon Prime Benefits with Someone Else for Free

But even though Prime Video’s price is similar to other streaming services, it may be hard to justify the extra $2.99 per month. With streaming services raising prices across the board, you have to consider the total cost versus how much you watch. It may well be that Amazon’s limited advertisements will serve you just as well as the ad-free service if you're not a frequent viewer.

When ads come to Amazon Prime Video at the end of January 2024, we’ll get a first look at how disruptive – or non-disruptive – the new ad breaks are. (I subscribe to Paramount+ ad-free because I can’t stand seeing the constant stream of pharmaceutical advertisements.) If you love Amazon’s streaming content and hate the ads, you’re going to need to bite the bullet and pay the extra $2.99/month to avoid them.

[Image credit: Screenshot via Techlicious, iPhone mockup via Canva]

Elizabeth Harper is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering consumer technology and entertainment. In addition to writing for Techlicious, she's Editorial Director of Blizzard Watch and is published on sites all over the web including Time, CBS, Engadget, The Daily Dot and DealNews.


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