From ad-free to ad-fee – Does Prime Video's new model resonate with subscribers?
September 26th, 2023, Kineree Shah

From ad-free to ad-fee – Does Prime Video's new model resonate with subscribers?

Amazon recently announced that starting early 2024 Prime Video will introduce advertisements on its platform. This change requires subscribers to pay an additional $3 per month if they wish to continue enjoying an ad-free viewing experience. Before this development, the allure of Amazon Prime Video was its ad-free content, bundled within an annual Prime membership costing $139 (or available for a separate monthly fee of $9 for Prime Video alone.) The reality, as it now unfolds, is a tiered model where the basic subscription comes with ads, and an ad-free experience is now a premium add-on.

So how is this significant transition sitting with Prime Video’s current subscribers?

Nearly three in five say it's fair to watch ads in exchange for free content (57%) but about a quarter disagree (27%) according to data from YouGov Profiles. This suggests that a substantial portion of viewers may see the logic behind the trade-off between ads and content quality or variety. However, there’s a noticeable segment that might not be on the same page when it comes to Amazon’s new direction.

Another statement sheds light on a potential concern - advertising overexposure. A remarkable three-quarters of current subscribers of Amazon feel bombarded by advertising (74%). Although this data is a reflection of the general sentiment and is not tied specifically to Prime Video's new model, it signals a larger narrative in the digital advertising landscape. With only 17% disagreeing with the sentiment of ad overload, it's an indicator that the balance between advertising and user satisfaction is a delicate one.

As Amazon marches into this new chapter, it lifts the lid on a broader conversation on the shifting paradigms of streaming services, the sustainability of ad-free models, and the delicate act of balancing revenue generation with customer satisfaction. The unfolding reactions of Prime Video’s loyal subscriber base, coupled with the adoption rates of the new ad-free tier, will be closely watched narratives in the coming months, not only by Amazon but the entire streaming industry.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.  

Photo by Jens Mahnke