Fresh off of what has most likely been another ungodly lucrative holiday season (there are other places where you can buy things, folks), Amazon has apparently decided that it’s sick of all of this “peace” and “goodwill” shit that everyone has been talking about for a month and will instead be embracing greed and antagonism (is that the opposite of goodwill?) for 2024.
As confirmed today in a message to subscribers (via Deadline), “limited advertisements” will be coming to the previously ad-free Prime Video on January 29, with Amazon claiming that it will “allow us to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time.” (Don’t roll your eyes too hard, it’ll be tough to get an appointment with a doctor this week.) The statement also promises that Prime Video will have “meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers.” (Don’t roll your eyes too hard!!!)
We first heard that Prime Video would be getting ads earlier this year, and while most streaming services already offer an ad-supported tier these days, what makes this one kind of aggravating is that Amazon isn’t introducing a new tier that has ads while jacking up the price of one that doesn’t. Instead, it’s forcing everyone into the ad tier and then offering a $3 upcharge to anyone who wants their service to remain the same. And how many people aren’t going to know how to do that and are just going to start getting ads that they never expected to get? Lots? Amazon is probably hoping its lots.
In terms of cost, a monthly Prime subscription is $15, so make that $18 with the ad-free bump. That’ll put it on the high end of all the major streaming services, unless you’re paying an obscene amount for Netflix’s silly 4K tier. Of course, Amazon would argue that you’re also getting free shipping and whatever other benefits come with a Prime subscription (the ability to hit a button and deny a random warehouse worker a bathroom break?), which you don’t get with Netflix or Hulu, but Netflix and Hulu also don’t have those annoying delivery trucks that make an obnoxious honking noise when they back up, so… there are a lot of trade-offs to consider.