Prime Video to introduce advertisements, increase cost for ad-free streaming

By Nicole Thompson in Toronto

Prime Video is set to introduce advertisements on its platform next year. 

Amazon’s streaming service says the cost won’t change for those willing to sit through commercial breaks, which it describes as “meaningfully fewer” than what’s seen on “traditional TV and other streaming members.”

The company has yet to announce how much the ad-free tier will cost, however in the United States it will cost an extra $2.99 per month to avoid ads.

Amazon is following its competitors’ lead by introducing a new plan, though it takes a slightly different tack by not offering a cheaper a rate.

Netflix last year introduced a “basic with ads” plan that cost $5.99 per month — $15 cheaper than its most expensive plan. The option included a smaller selection of films and TV shows with occasional commercial breaks.

Netflix continued to offer its previous $9.99 “basic” plan for several months before phasing it out and leaving only the premium tier and ad-supported option. 

Crave followed suit this year, introducing a “basic with ads” option for $9.99 monthly and “standard with ads” for an extra $5.

Its ad-free option remained at $19.99 per month. 

In addition to these multi-tiered streamers, there are also “FAST” options — free ad-supported streaming television —including the video-on-demand platforms Tubi and Pluto TV, which offer more than 100 channels of TV series, movies and sports.

CBC has also grown its selection of live, ad-supported streaming channels beyond its flagship CBC Explore news service with channels dedicated to comedy and local news.

Banner image: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Michel Euler

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2023.