Amazon (AMZN.O) Prime Video will next year join streaming rivals in rolling out ads and introducing a higher-priced ad-free tier, as the industry grapples with a slowdown in subscriber growth since the pandemic.
The U.S. tech giant said on Friday ads will be introduced in the U.S., the UK, Germany and Canada in early 2024, followed by France, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Australia later in the year.
Amazon’s ad-free tier will cost another $2.99 per month in the U.S., where a Prime subscription currently costs $14.99 per month, or $139 per year. Pricing for other countries will be shared later, the company said.
Amazon already shows ads on live event content such as NFL’s Thursday Night Football, a practice that will continue even if the subscriber has paid for the ad-free plan, the company said.
The online retail firm does not break out Prime membership numbers. But Insider Intelligence estimates Amazon Prime is the third-largest video-streaming platform in the U.S. with 157.3 million subscribers, trailing only YouTube and Netflix.
Reporting by Samrhitha Arunasalam in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Krishna Chandra Eluri