Amazon to include ads on Prime Video for first time

Amazon has committed around $1bn to a five series run of Rings of Power
Push to boost revenues comes as Amazon splashes out on new content. The company has committed $1bn to its Rings of Power series

Amazon will introduce advertising on Prime Video next year, as it follows similar roll-outs from rivals Netflix and Disney.

Subscribers to the Amazon Prime service will be forced to pay extra for ad-free viewing, as the tech giant strives to boost streaming revenues.

The e-commerce business said adverts would begin appearing for UK customers from 2024 onwards.

Streaming platforms are trying to raise funds after ploughing investment into original films and television shows, as they compete for subscribers in a crowded market.

Disney has already suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in losses due to its shift to internet streaming, while demand for Netflix has also waned due to its crackdown on password sharing.

On Friday, Amazon said its standard Prime Video subscription would soon include “limited adverts”.

Customers hoping to watch ad-free will have to pay an extra $2.99 (£2.44) per month in the US, while the UK uplift is yet to be confirmed.

The company’s Prime Video service currently starts at £5.99. Customers can also pay £8.99 for Amazon’s bundled Prime service, which includes a free delivery service from its online store.

Shows exclusive to Amazon include satirical superhero series The Boys and Jeremy Clarkson’s documentary show Clarkson’s Farm.

Amazon insisted its video streaming service would aim to have fewer ads than other TV providers.

The company already includes some advertising when it broadcasts live sports, but this will be the first time it has included commercials within its on-demand streaming service.

Amazon said the adverts would allow it to “continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time”.

Last year, Netflix announced it would introduce advertising on a cut-price version of its app in a bid to attract new subscribers.

The new “Basics with Ads” service costs £4.99 per month.

Disney, meanwhile, is bringing advertising to its UK streaming app this November, having already announced adverts in the US earlier this year.

Amazon has struggled to crack the streaming market since the launch of Prime Video more than a decade ago, even despite costly shows such as the Lord of the Rings spin-off The Rings of Power.

Still, Prime Video has been viewed by analysts as a loss leader for the tech giant and a means to encourage people to sign up for its Prime retail service.

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