Amazon Prime Video to have ads in 2024: How streaming services compare on price
Want to keep watching Prime Video without ads? Amazon wants you to pay a little extra.
will soon become the latest company to charge streaming subscribers extra to avoid commercials. Beginning early next year in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Canada, Prime Video accounts will include some ads — unless customers pay an extra $2.99 a month to avoid them. “We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers,” the company said in a blog post on Friday.
Amazon says it hopes the move will allow the company to “continue investing in compelling content,” such as its hit comedy series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which has earned a record-setting 80 Emmy Award nominations over five seasons.
After launching an ad-supported tier last year, Netflix
dropped its cheapest “Basic” streaming plan without ads in the U.S. and U.K. over the summer. Disney+ also rolled out an ad-supported tier last year, and prices for ad-free plans on Disney+ and Hulu will rise again in October.
It can be hard to keep up with so many changes in pricing and ad models across all of your streaming services. So here’s a look at where the major streaming services stand on pricing this fall, and how their prices compare.
- $8.99 a month for standalone video service
- $14.99 a month
What to know: The price for Amazon Prime, the company’s flagship service that includes access to Prime Video, has been the same since February 2022, and it will remain the same price for 2024. But what is changing is that Amazon will debut ads to Prime members who use Prime Video, as well as those who subscribe to Prime Video only, but not Amazon Prime. Customers will have to pay an extra $2.99 a month to remain ad-free.
A Prime membership costs $139 when purchased annually.
- $6.99 a month for standard with ads
- $15.49 a month for standard without ads
- $19.99 a month for premium without ads
What to know: Netflix launched its ad-supported tier last year for its lowest price in years, and subscribers with that plan see four to five minutes of commercials per hour. Both the standard plans have slightly worse video and sound quality and can stream two devices at the same time, while the premium plan allows for four devices on the platform at the same time.
Netflix recently dropped its $9.99 ad-free basic plan in the U.S. and the U.K.
The streaming giant also began cracking down on password sharing in 2023, and is giving accountholders the option to pay an additional $7.99 a month to add users to their existing ad-free plans.
“Your Netflix account is for you and the people you live with,” Netflix said in a blog post.
- $7.99 a month with ads
- $10.99 a month with no ads
What to know: The Walt Disney Co.’s
flagship streaming platform features popular franchises including Marvel, “Star Wars” and Pixar. The price for the Disney+ ad-free plan will increase to $13.99 on Oct. 12, and the price for the ad-supported plan will remain the same.
Disney often offers bundle options with sports streaming service ESPN+, which Disney owns, and Hulu.
- $7.99 a month for basic with ads
- $14.99 a month with no ads
What to know: Hulu raised prices last year, and was one of the first big streamers to offer an ad-supported tier. Disney owns a majority stake in Hulu, and offers a larger bundle that includes Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month, with ads.
Hulu’s ad-free tier is increasing to $17.99 on Oct. 12.
- $9.99 a month with ads
- $15.99 a month with no ads
- $19.99 a month with no ads and more simultaneous devices
What to know: The service formerly known as HBO Max merged with Discovery+ last year and rebranded as Max in May. After the merger, prices for the ad-supported tier have remained unchanged, but prices for its middle, ad-free tier rose from $14.99 to $15.99 a month. The service, which is run by Warner Bros. Discovery
features shows including the “Game of Thrones” prequel series “House of the Dragon” and “Euphoria.”
- $6.99 a month with no ads
What to know: Apple Inc.’s
streaming platform does not have an ad-supported option. The price of Apple TV+ increased by $2 a month last year, from $4.99 to $6.99, and interested customers can bundle Apple TV+ with Apple Music for increased savings.
Since that price increase, Apple added Major League Soccer’s Season Pass to its service, allowing customers (for an additional fee) to watch MLS games and soccer legend Lionel Messi, who joined the league this year.
- $5.99 a month with ads
- $11.99 a month with no ads and Showtime
What to know: Prices for the ad-tier of Paramount+ have increased by $1 since last year. Paramount’s
ad-supported tier also includes live sports such as the NFL on CBS as the UEFA Champions League.
- $5.99 a month with ads
- $11.99 a month with no ads
What to know: Peacock ended its free-with-ads streaming option earlier this year, and now has just two subscription offerings. The streaming service owned by Comcast
features access to live sports including the NFL and the Olympics, as well as classic TV shows including “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation.”
So why is nearly every major streaming service now offering ad-supported tiers? Streamers think cheaper ad tiers are likely to bring in customers who may have been turned off by higher, ad-free subscription prices.
Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said in March that the company hoped the ad tier would “drive growth of subscribers.” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the introduction of the ad tier for his company was because the company “left a big customer segment off the table” who thought Netflix was too expensive.
Indeed, a majority of consumers (59%) say they would be willing to watch ads if it saved them $4 to $5 in monthly subscription fees, according to a recent “TV Advertising: Fact vs Fiction” report from consumer research firm Hub Entertainment Research.
And for subscribers who are considering which streaming services to keep or cut month over month, check out MarketWatch’s “What’s Worth Streaming” column. And here’s a look at which new series, movies and documentaries are hitting some of the top streaming services in October.