Amazon Prime Video could now include ads

June 8, 2023 by
Frank Calviño

Amazon could join Netflix and Disney in launching an ad-supported Prime Video subscription. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the tech giant would look to boost the company's revenue with an ad-driven option for its streaming service. Although talks are early, advertisers are interested in the idea.

According to inside sources, the idea of a Prime Video with ads arises due to cost reductions in various company areas. Amazon, like Meta, Microsoft, and other technology companies, has made adjustments in its strategy that resulted in thousands of layoffs. With the implementation of this service, the company would strengthen one of its fastest-growing areas: advertising.

Amazon Prime Video's massive productions 

Amazon has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in exclusive content for Prime Video. The company bought the rights to produce the series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and recently closed a deal with Embracer Group to bring Tomb Raider to the small screen. Amazon's plans for the Lara Croft franchise would be as ambitious as those of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It is productions of this size precisely that have caught the attention of advertisers. The report mentions that ad buyers want more access to premium movies and series that have remained ad-free. The only programs with ads are the NFL games that air on Thursday nights in the USA. 

Although implementing a subscription with ads is at a preliminary stage, Amazon has contemplated different scenarios. According to sources, the company could insert advertising into programs and offer current users an ad-free Prime Video variant. The latter would be very similar to what we see with Amazon Music and its Prime and Unlimited plans.

Following the Freevee experience 

The technology company already has experience with Freevee, an ad-supported streaming service that includes part of Prime Video's catalog. Although it has crucial series and movies, none are of the caliber of its big brother. Another point against it is that Freevee is only available in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.

Amazon wants to take advantage of the opportunity to insert advertising in its services, including Prime Video Channels. The company is reportedly negotiating with Warner Bros. and Paramount to offer memberships with ads for those who sign up for HBO MAX or Paramount+ within Prime Video.

At the moment there are no details on pricing or availability of Prime Video with ads. Amazon is experimenting with various alternatives, and it is not guaranteed that it will be implemented going forward. Despite the push from ad agencies, the reality is that these "cheap" plans are not the solution to the ills facing companies.

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