Amazon Prime Video could be the next streaming platform to introduce ad-supported content, following in the footsteps of major rivals such as Netflix, Disney+ and Max.
The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, though at this time Amazon has neither confirmed nor denied the reports. However, if ads are introduced, how will that affect the current pricing and content on the platform?
Here is what we know so far. You can also check out everything we know about the end of password sharing on Netflix.
Is there a release date for the Amazon Prime Video ad-supported tier?
No release date for the alleged ad-supported tier was mentioned in the report, just that Amazon was in the “early stages” of planning.
The company declined to comment about the report to The Verge.
How much could the Amazon Prime Video ad-supported tier cost?
One of the biggest takeaways from the report is that Amazon weighing up the idea of integrating ads into its current Amazon Prime subscription (priced at $14.99/£8.99 per month) and making ad-free viewing either a more expensive tier, or an additional cost per month.
From a business perspective, this could make sense – considering that the ad-free price of some rival subscriptions is more than Amazon’s entire Prime membership, which also offers free delivery, access to flash sales and more.
On the other hand, it would be infuriating for subscribers, who have seen a barrage of price increases from other companies.
Tech Radar pointed out that there’s the possibility of just integrating the ads into the standalone Prime Video subscription, which costs $8.99 per month in the US, and isn’t currently available in the UK. However, that may depend on how popular this service is.
The exact pricing of an ad-free tier is not known, but generally a $5/£4 price jump per month seems around the average cost on other platforms. Of course, this is all speculation. We should hopefully learn more in the coming months.
What could the ads on Prime Video entail?
The article states that Amazon wants the ads to be “short”, but an exact time is unknown. For reference, Max offers three to four minutes of ads per hour, whilst Disney aims for an average of four minutes.
WSJ also claims that this tier would offer other features besides ad-free viewing. Whilst we don’t know specifics, it could follow Netflix and Max’s models and split content into different streaming qualities – with 4K content only available on the highest tier. Alternatively, premium users may get TV shows and films not available on the standard tiers.
What about Amazon Freevee?
Amazon already has another ad-supported service called Freevee, which is a free, ad-supported platform for everyone (not just Prime subscribers), with a curated selection of content.
However, Amazon will mostly likely want to keep its biggest shows (The Boys, Good Omens and The Rings of Power) behind a paywall – so we doubt there’s any chance of these moving to Freevee.