Amazon has begun informing Prime Video customers that they will need to pay an additional fee if they want to avoid commercials interrupting their viewing experience. In an email sent to customers Amazon announced that it will begin showing “limited advertisements” with its service’s movies and shows beginning January 29. Customers who wish to remain ad-free can do so by paying an additional $3 per month in addition to their Prime subscription (or $9 per month for a standalone Prime Video membership). The company first announced in September that it would begin serving advertisements with its content, and that the first regions affected would be the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and France. Amazon said at the time that it was aiming to “have significantly fewer ads” with its services compared to linear TV and “other streaming TV providers.
In the email sent to subscribers, Amazon repeated that goal. “By adding ads to our service and charging more to access ad-free viewing,” Amazon wrote, “we will be able to invest more in high-quality content and continue to grow that investment over time.” In the email, Amazon told subscribers that ads would begin to appear automatically at the end of January, and provided a link to a pay-per-view website. In an informational page about the switch, Amazon said that it would not show ads with “rented” or “purchased” content. The email also said that, for the time being, “Puerto Rico, [the US Virgin Islands], Guam, [the Mariana Islands] and American Samoa are not included in the rollout.”