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Amazon Prime Video to introduce ads in nine territories, up cost of ad-free service

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

Streamer Amazon Prime Video is set to bring advertising to its platform in at least nine key territories next year.

From early 2024, Prime Video in the US, UK, Germany and Canada will introduce ads, with Amazon claiming it aims to have “meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers.”

The ad tier will then launch in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia later in the year.

Subscribers to Prime Video, which is part of Amazon’s Prime shipping membership, will be moved to the AVoD tier by default at no extra cost. However, those that wish to continue with the ad-free version of Prime Video will be charged extra.

In the US, the ad-free tier will cost an extra US$2.99 per month. Pricing for the ad-free tier has not yet been confirmed for the other territories.

With the move, Prime Video will continue to operate independently of Amazon’s free AVoD service, Freevee, which is available in the US, UK and Germany.

While Amazon has deeper pockets than many of its streaming peers, it too has looked to generate new revenue streams from its streaming business. In addition to Prime Video’s upcoming move into AVoD, the company also formed the sales unit Amazon MGM Studios Distribution earlier this year, tasked with selling Prime Video originals such as The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Goliath and Hunters to third parties for the first time.

Netflix and Disney+ also added AVoD tiers last year as the streaming sector at large faces stalling subscriber growth and calls from Wall Street to achieve profitability.

So far, Netflix is the only major global streaming service that has managed to become profitable, while others, including Paramount+, Disney+ and Peacock, continue to post hundreds of millions of dollars in quarterly losses related to their direct-to-consumer businesses.

Prime Video’s line-up of originals includes mega-budget series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and Citadel, in addition to The Boys, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Wheel of Time, Reacher and The Summer I Turned Pretty. In the US, the streamer also carries some exclusive live sports including NFL Thursday Night Football.

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