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Amazon’s Prime Video to start showing ads on Jan. 29

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Subscribers of Amazon’s Prime Video have one more month before they start seeing commercials — or have to pay more to avoid them.

In an email to subscribers this week, Amazon
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said “limited advertisements” will air with movies and TV shows on Prime Video starting Jan. 29.

“This will allow us to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time,” Amazon said in its email, adding that it plans to show “meaningfully fewer ads” than linear TV or its streaming rivals. Amazon did not respond to a request for further comment.

While most streaming services have added cheaper, ad-supported tiers over the past couple of years, Amazon is going the opposite direction, where subscribers will see ads by default and will have to pay an additional $2.99 a month to continue to see commercial-free programming.

Rival ad-supported plans are also about half the price of Prime Video’s $14.99 a month. Netflix’s
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ad tier is $6.99 a month, for example, and Disney+
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with ads is $7.99 a month.

In 2022, Amazon spent about $16.6 billion on streaming content, which includes licensing and production costs.

Amazon had announced in September it would be adding commercials in the new year, but did not announce a starting date at the time.

In October, Amazon reported third-quarter profit of $9.9 billion, as revenue swelled to $143.1 billion, beating analysts’ expectations on both.

Amazon shares have jumped about 83% year to date.

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