Technology Amazon Prime Video Gets “Limited Advertisements” on January 29

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Amazon today alerted its Prime Video customers in the U.S. that its move to displaying “limited advertisements” in shows and movies will begin in about a month.

“We are writing to you today about an upcoming change to your Prime Video experience,” the email explains. “Starting January 29, Prime Video movies and TV shows will include limited advertisements. This will allow us to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time. We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers. No action is required from you, and there is no change to the current price of your Prime membership.”

Amazon warned of this change in September but said only that it would begin in early 2024 at the time. It also said that it would offer a $2.99 per month add-on to remove those ads, and promised that it would not raise the prices of Amazon Prime (which includes Prime Video) or the standalone Prime Video subscription (which costs $8.99 per month in the U.S.) in 2024. Today’s email doesn’t mention the no price hike pledge, but it confirms the new ad-free option, which Prime members can opt-into here.

Given the past year of horrific price increases across many consumer subscription services, I know that some will be outraged by this shift. But Prime Video is relatively inexpensive. And Amazon is perhaps unique in that they can accurately claim that the broader Prime subscription, at least, is still a tremendous value with an astonishing array of digital and physical perks that include a strong and growing range of exclusive Prime Video content, free shipping on over 300 million physical items, access to exclusive deals and sales events like Prime Day, 100 million ad-free songs via Amazon Music, unlimited photos storage via Amazon Photos, various Prime Gaming benefits, over 3,000 books via Prime Reading, a free one-year GrubHub+ membership valued at $120, and a lot more.
 

Ink

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Ads are now live for US users
If you want to retain the ad-free experience, you have to hand over an extra $2.99 per month.

The WSJ notes Amazon’s claim that it has a lower ad-load than most ad-supported services.

Nobody likes ads, but streaming video companies are struggling to transition to profit after selling their content at a loss to win business from cable customers, and Amazon is no exception.
 

silversurfer

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Amazon has confirmed it’s not a mistake — your Amazon Prime Video subscription no longer includes Dolby Vision HDR or Dolby Atmos surround sound. That’s on top of the ads that Amazon injected into the service on January 29th. Now, when you pay $2.99 a month to remove those ads, you can get Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos back as well.

That’s the word from 4KFilme, which discovered that their smart TVs from Sony, LG, and Samsung were now displaying content in HDR10 with Dolby Digital 5.1 as opposed to the higher fidelity options they’d enjoyed previously.

Amazon spokesperson Katie Barker confirms to The Verge that it’s a deliberate move: “Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos capabilities are only available on the ad free option, on relevant titles.”
 

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