Prime Video now has adverts unless you pay extra, and people are absolutely furious — 'taking the p**s'

a montage of artwork of some of the biggest original shows and films on prime video in the UK

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Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 05/02/2024

- 01:01

Starting today, you'll need to spend an extra £2.99 each month to eliminate ad breaks

  • Adverts will now air before episodes, films, and documentaries on Prime Video
  • Ditching the ad breaks will cost an extra £2.99 a month, or £35.88 a year
  • Change applies to both Prime Video subscribers and Amazon Prime members
  • Subscribers have flooded social media to complain about arrival of ads
  • Netflix and Disney+ both launched more affordable subscriptions with adverts
  • But Prime Video remains £5.99 a month despite the ad breaks

You’ll need to sit through adverts before your favourite films or boxsets will play on Prime Video under new changes introduced today. The controversial shake-up comes to subscribers across the UK today (February 5, 2024) following a roll-out across the United States one week ago.

Amazon says it aims to have “meaningfully fewer ads than ad-supported TV channels and other streaming TV providers,” but we’ll need to spend time with the update to determine whether you’ll spend less time in the ad breaks than ad-supported plans from Disney+ and Netflix.

If you don’t fancy watching adverts during your binge-watch of The Boys, Clarkson's Farm or The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon will let you go back to ad-free viewing for an extra £2.99 per month.

That’s an extra £35.88 every year.

It's a different approach to Disney+ and Netflix, which both offered lower-priced subscriptions with the introduction of adverts to the platform. Although watching ad-free costs more, existing customers were able to enjoy a similar viewing experience at the same price when the ad-supported plans launched.

Enraged fans have flooded social media to voice their frustration with the change to Prime Video.

One Prime Video subscriber posted on X, formerly Twitter: "Hey @PrimeVideo so now now that you're showing adverts which I can pay £2.99 to avoid, how about you reduce my subscription by £2.99 as I chose to stream to avoid adverts in the first place!"

"@PrimeVideo Where is the cancel button. It's hiding somewhere on your web site. I'm not paying to watch those damn adverts. Period." another added on the social media app.

A number of users have pledged to cancel their Prime subscriptions at the next opportunity over the introduction of ad breaks to the streamer. One posted: "@PrimeVideo taking the p#ss. I subscribe so I can watch something without adverts, as there are too many on satellite. And now they will start showing ads, unless I pay more each year. Well that's one subscription I'm gonna cancel."

The total cost of your Prime Video subscription depends on whether you’ve subscribed to the video streaming service for £5.99 per month, or whether you’re an Amazon Prime member, which includes Prime Video and other perks, for £8.99 per month.

As well as watching exclusive shows and films, Prime members enjoy unlimited next-day delivery across thousands of items, exclusive access to Lightning Deals and sales events like Prime Day, music streaming on Amazon Echo and other devices, unlimited cloud back-up for photos, and rotating selection of Kindle ebooks and magazines to read at no extra cost.

Unlike a standalone Prime Video subscription, Amazon Prime is available as an annual plan. It costs £95 per year, which equates to roughly £7.91 per month ...although you’ll still need to add an extra £2.99 to that figure each month if you want to swerve the adverts.

Amazon says the introduction of ads will enable it to “continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time.”

The online retailer, founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, has invested heavily in original content — including breaking records with the most expensive television show ever produced.

The Lord of the Rings prequel series The Rings Of Power cost a purported $465 million to film its eight-episode first season, which debuted in September 2022 on Prime Video. Amazon committed to a minimum of five seasons in its deal to acquire the rights from the Tolkien estate for roughly $250 million, sending the total cost spiralling over $1 billion.

For comparison, Game of Thrones cost around $100 million per season by the end of its run.

Amazon has also acquired film studio MGM for a rumoured $8.5 billion in 2022, strengthening its catalogue of movies, and snapped-up ex-Top Gear trio Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond after the BBC refused to renew Clarkson’s contract.

james may richard hammond and jeremy clarkson are pictured standing infront of three supercars

James May, Richard Hammond, and Jeremy Clarkson all joined Prime Video to launch The Grand Tour back in 2016


The deal resulted in The Grand Tour, a new motoring show that follows in the footsteps of Top Gear with chaotic challenges and road trips across the planet. All three presenters have also launched solo projects on Prime Video, including a travel series from James May andClarkson’s Farm, which was critically lauded for showing the plights of farmers in the UK.

Revenue from ad breaks is expected to bring in $2 billion by 2025, according to analysis by MoffettNathanson. Amazon has a second streaming service, known as Freevee, which is ad-supported and free to watch.

Freevee is home to a number of popular shows, including the high-profile return of Australian soap Neighbours: A New Chapter. It’s also the only place to stream comedy mockumentary Jury Duty, adaption of British book series Alex Rider, and adult animation Corner Gas, to name a few.

a promotional picture from lord of the rings the rings of power on prime video

BAFTA-nominated Welsh actress Morfydd Clark stars as Galadriel in The Rings of Power, which is widely believed to be the most expensive TV series ever put to film ​


The arrival of adverts into Prime Video is part of a wide trend across the industry. Disney+ launched a more affordable ad-supported tier at the end of last year. Priced at £5.99 per month, it’s £2 cheaper than the previous one-size-fits-all ad-free subscription.

Netflix kickstarted the trend with the arrival of its first ad-supported tier in late 2022, which has surged in popularity following the streamer’s recent crackdown on password-sharing between friends and family members, it confirmed during its latest earnings call.

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