The last big ad-free streaming service is disappearing. Starting Jan. 29, Amazon users will start seeing ads appear on movies and TV shows for Prime Video, according to an email sent to subscribers Tuesday. To keep Prime Video ad-free, you’ll need to pay $3 more per monthon top of the $139 per year members already pay for Amazon Prime.
“Starting January 29, Prime Video movies and TV shows will include limited ads,” Amazon said in a statement. E-mail to Prime members. “This will allow us to continue to invest in compelling content and continue to grow that investment over a long period of time.”
THE five biggest streaming services in America, everyone will now have advertisements. Prime Video follows suit Max. And Paramount+which launched an ad-supported tier in 2021, as well as Netflix And Disney+ which launched ad models in late 2022. We already learned this change was coming for Prime members, but now we know exactly when our streaming dreams will die.
Streaming services once offered a vision where television and film content could thrive on a subscription model, offering users premium content for a low monthly fee, without advertising. Prime was the last major streamer to shy away from introducing ads, but it has now followed other media giants.
Streaming has essentially become a neater version of cable. In a subscription model, a streaming service’s viewers are the customers: they fund the company to see premium content. However, in an ad-supported model, customers are the product: Prime Video has premium (wealthy) viewers who are now sold as a demographic to advertisers and Amazon has tons of data on what its subscribers like to buy . Launching ads to save users $3 a month seems like a subtle change, but Prime Video’s announcement appears to be the final nail in the coffin for subscription streaming. The only major difference with cable now is that streaming services are algorithmically curated according to your preferences.
The shift to advertising likely means that the subscription model simply cannot be profitable at scale. Subscription streaming pioneer Netflix has seen much slower growth in recent years, leading it to crack down on password sharing to increase subscriptions.
The only major player without advertising on its streaming service is Apple. However, Apple probably doesn’t need Apple TV to be profitable because the service strengthens its product ecosystem. The same could be said for Amazon’s Prime Video, however, but that’s not the route they’ve chosen.
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