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Amazon Prime Video subscribers in the UK will now start seeing their stream interrupted by ads.
Starting today, the streaming service will launch ads for all subscribers who don’t pay an additional fee of £2.99/month.
Amazon has confirmed that they will be as disruptive as regular TV breaks; Play before, after and during TV shows and movies.
Subscribers in the United States have already been seeing ads for a week and the update will roll out to more countries soon.
On social media, UK customers have greeted the change with outrage, with one saying: “I pay over £100 for Prime as it is and will cancel when my subscription runs out.”
Starting today, Amazon Prime Video subscribers in the UK will start seeing ads before, during and after TV shows and movies, unless they pay an additional fee (stock image)
How do you know if you are affected?
If you’re an Amazon Prime Video subscriber in the UK, the only change you’ll see is the inclusion of ads in your content.
Prime Video is one of the benefits that Amazon Prime subscribers receive at no additional cost as part of their subscription.
Amazon announced these changes would be coming in September last year, but recently confirmed details of the change in an email sent to customers.
In this email, Amazon confirmed that the price of a Prime subscription will remain unchanged and that no further action is required.
This means UK subscribers will continue to pay £8.99 ($11.34) per month or £95 (£119.87) per year for the service.
Amazon has followed Netflix and Disney+ in introducing streaming ads. The main difference is that both Netflix and Disney introduced cheaper subscription tiers that include ads instead of making customers pay more to remove them (stock image).
In the email sent to customers, Amazon said, “Prime Video movies and TV shows will include limited ads.”
“Our goal is to have significantly fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers.”
However, Amazon later confirmed that the ads will play at the beginning, middle and end of each show.
This follows the introduction of ads on other popular streaming services such as Netflix.
Instead of making ads standard, Netflix introduced a cheaper subscription tier with ads that customers could choose to purchase for £4.99 a month.
Similarly, Disney+ introduced an advertising tier, first for US users in December 2022, and then in the UK and eight other European countries in November also at £4.99 per month.
Subscribers to the streaming service reacted with outrage to the change, with some even threatening to cancel their accounts over the change.
How can you get rid of ads?
If you don’t want to see ads while watching your favorite show or movie, the only way to remove them is to pay an additional fee.
Amazon Prime subscribers will have to pay £2.99 per month or £35.88 per year to remove ads.
That will bring the monthly cost of an Amazon Prime Video subscription to just under £12 a month.
This is more expensive than a standard Netflix account or a Disney+ Premium account, which cost £10.99 a month and don’t include ads.
To upgrade to ad-free, go to the “Account & Settings” page on Amazon Prime and select “Go Ad-Free.”
This will remove ads from all Amazon Prime Video profiles that have been linked to your Amazon account.
Unfortunately, Amazon says this won’t even remove all ads.
Some titles will continue to include ‘promotional trailers shown before a movie or TV show’ that can be skipped with a paid, ad-free subscription.
Additionally, live events, such as sports matches, and any content offered through Amazon Freevee when available will continue to include advertising.
X customers say they were surprised to see that Amazon offered them the option to pay or view ads. Some have refused to pay more to remove ads, while others say they will stop paying for Amazon Prime altogether.
On social media, many Amazon Prime subscribers say they are not willing to pay more to remove ads from the service.
“Amazon Prime just asked me if I wanted paid ads 2.99 smh more,” wrote one subscriber on X (formerly Twitter).
Another wrote: “I don’t know how many ads you put on your streaming service to try to force me to upgrade to an ADS FREE subscription… it’s not happening.”
Some subscribers have gone further, stating that they will abandon the service entirely due to the addition of ads.
One commenter bluntly wrote: “I will not be renewing Prime at my next annual renewal.”
While another added: “Amazon Prime is already a below-average streaming service, charging people for an ad-free experience will surely kill it.”
On X, one commenter says that Amazon Prime Video doesn’t have the content necessary to justify a price increase or the awkward inclusion of ads.
Are more changes coming?
Amazon Prime has not announced any further price changes to the subscription model.
The introduction of ads currently affects customers in the US, UK, Canada, and Germany.
However, the model will continue to be implemented in other countries over the next year.
Amazon has confirmed that people in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia will receive them later in 2024.