Amazon Prime Video subscribers in the UK will now begin to have their streaming interrupted by ads.
From today, the streaming service will roll out adverts for all subscribers who don’t pay an extra fee of £2.99/month.
Amazon has confirmed that these will be just as disruptive as regular television breaks; playing before, after, and during TV shows and movies.
Subscribers in America have already been seeing ads for a week and the update is set to roll out in more countries soon.
On social media, UK customers have met the change with outrage, with one saying: ‘I pay over £100 for prime as it is and will be cancelling it when my subscription runs out.’
From today, Amazon Prime Video subscribers in the UK will begin seeing adverts before, during, and after TV shows and movies unless they pay an additional fee (stock image)
How do you know if you’re affected?
If you are an Amazon Prime Video subscriber in the UK, then the only change you will see is the inclusion of adverts 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 that these changes would be coming in September last year but only recently confirmed the 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 additional action is required.
This means that 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 adverts to streaming. The main difference is that both Netflix and Disney introduced cheaper subscription tiers which include adverts rather than making customers pay extra to remove them (stock image)
In the email sent to customers, Amazon said: ‘Prime Video movies and TV shows will include limited advertisements.
‘We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers.’
However, Amazon has subsequently confirmed that adverts will play at the beginning, middle, and end of each show.
This follows the introduction of adverts into other popular streaming services such as Netflix.
Instead of making adverts standard, Netflix introduced a cheaper subscription tier with ads that customers could choose to purchase at £4.99 per month.
Similarly, Disney+ introduced an ad 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 have 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 adverts while watching your favourite show or movie, the only way to remove them is to pay an extra fee.
Amazon Prime subscribers will need to pay £2.99 per month or £35.88 per year in order to remove the ads.
That will bring the monthly cost of an Amazon Prime Video subscription to just below £12 per month.
This is more expensive than a standard Netflix account or Premium Disney+ account which both cost £10.99 per month and do not include adverts.
To upgrade to ad-free, go to your ‘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 will not even remove all adverts.
Some titles will still include ‘promotional trailers that run before a movie or TV show’ which will be skippable with a paid ad-free subscription.
In addition, live events, such as sports fixtures, and any content offered through Amazon Freevee where available will continue to include advertising.
Customers on X say that they have been shocked to see Amazon offering them the choice of paying or seeing adverts. Some have refused to pay extra to remove the ads while others say they will stop paying for Amazon Prime altogether
On social media, many Amazon Prime subscribers say they are unwilling to pay extra to remove ads from the service.
‘Amazon prime just asked me if I wanted ads of pay 2.99 more smh,’ wrote one subscriber on X (formerly Twitter).
Another wrote: ‘Idc how many ads you put in your streaming service to try to force me to upgrade to an AD FREE subscription… it’s not happening.’
Some subscribers have gone further, claiming that they will be leaving the service altogether due to the addition of adverts.
One commenter wrote bluntly: ‘I will not be renewing Prime at my next annual renewal.’
While another added: ‘Amazon Prime is already the sub par streaming service, charging people for an ad free experience will surely kill it off.’
On X, one commenter says that Amazon Prime Video does not have the content required to justify an increased price or the inconvenient inclusion of adverts
Are there more changes coming?
Amazon Prime has not announced any further changes to the pricing of the subscription model.
The introduction of adverts currently affects customers in the US, UK, Canada, and Germany.
However, the model will continue to roll out to other countries in the coming year.
Amazon has confirmed that people in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia will get them later in 2024.