Amazon quietly removed a feature from your Prime Video subscription, and wants £2.99 a month to bring it back

a hand holding a remote control points at a flatscreen tv with the prime video logo on it

Prime Video hosts a number of popular syndicated series and movies alongside original productions commissioned by Amazon, like Citadel, The Rings Of Power, and Air

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 14/02/2024

- 05:00

Updated: 14/02/2024

- 08:52

Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos were included as standard with Amazon's streamer until earlier this month

Amazon added adverts to Prime Video earlier this month, forcing subscribers to watch a short ad break (usually 30 seconds or so) during episodes and films in its streaming library.

The arrival of adverts, a change some estimate will rake-in an extra $2 billion in global revenue for Amazon by 2025, did not lower the price of the subscription, which still starts from £5.99 for a standalone Prime Video subscriptionor £8.99 for a fully-fledged Prime membership.

That’s in stark contrast with Disney+ and Netflix, which both lower subscription prices on ad-supported plans. Both rivals offer ad-supported plans from £4.99 per month.

But it turns out that wasn’t the only change made by Amazon on February 5.

Prime Video viewers not only have to contend with adverts ― but have also lost out on high-end Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos viewing experience with their current subscription.

a group of people sit around a sofa watching an amazon fire tv omni series mounted on the wall

Until a few weeks ago, Prime Video offered ad-free viewing with support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision for a flat fee ...but now these features are locked behind a £2.99 per month charge


Dolby Vision is an HDR standard set by the renowned British-American company, which is best known for its work in sound for the biggest film releases. Dolby Atmos is a certification for sound and a must-have seal of approval for anyone who has invested heavily in surround sound kit.

Until now, Amazon bundled Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision to all Prime Video subscribers at no extra cost. The only restriction was your broadband speed and whether it could handle the top-of-the-line streaming experience.

In a statement to The Verge, Amazon confirmed that it now reserved the Dolby standards for those who pay an extra £2.99 per month for the ad-free experience.Amazon’s Katie Barker said: “Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos capabilities are only available on the ad free option, on relevant titles.”

Without paying the extra fee ― over £35 more on the streamer every year ― the maximum quality you can expect is HDR10 with Dolby Digital 5.1. If you don’t have a Dolby Atmos-certified soundbar or a 4K Ultra HD television that supports Dolby Vision, there’s really no need to worry.

But if you’ve invested in a decent set-up to enjoy your movie nights or boxset binges, this is undoubtedly a blow. If you want to enjoy the same ad-free experience with Dolby-certified picture and sound as last year, you’ll now have to spend a minimum of £8.98 every month.

Amazon isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary with this shake-up. Its biggest competitors have already locked away Dolby Atmos sound quality behind the most expensive subscriptions.

Disney+ charges £10.99 per month for its Premium plan, while Netflix keeps Dolby Atmos reserved for plans with support for Ultra HD picture quality, which costs £17.99 per month.

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.”

Prime Video has poured millions into original content for its subscribers, including award-winning series like The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel and Academy Award-winning films like Manchester by the Sea, documentary series Clarkson’s Farm, and the follow-up to BBC’s Top Gear with presenting trio Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond, dubbed The Grand Tour.


Amazon set records with its Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Rings Of Power, which 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.

Prime Video isn't the only streaming service undergoing a shake-up. Disney executives recently confirmed plans to block password-sharing between friends and family members on Disney+ this summer. Subscribers will be charged an extra fee each month to watch in multiple households, like Netflix.

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