Amazon is considering forcing more ads on Prime Video users, despite customers already paying monthly fees for the steaming service.
The trillion-dollar company has reportedly been exploring options for new ‘ad tiers’ over the last couple of weeks, meaning members may have to sit through monotonous ads while watching TV shows or movies.
This could look like making all Prime subscribers sit through ads and offering the option to ‘pay more’ for a commercial-free alternative.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the platform has been looking to imitate its competitors, such as Netflix and Disney+, who have introduced cheaper memberships with ads.
According to industry insiders Amazon Prime could be adding more commercial content to its streaming service, despite users already paying a monthly fee
Amazon already has an ad-supported TV service available on Prime Video called Freevee, which is integrated on the Prime home screen, but the commercial content would extend to other areas of the platform.
On top of that Prime – which features more than 20,000 movies and 2,000 television shows – also hosts content from other networks, some of which include commercials.
Sports fans will already be familiar with the in-talks commercial content, as Sports coverage on Prime is the only area of the platform which currently includes ads.
Amazon has not officially confirmed the rumours, but industry insiders have said that Prime subscribers would have the option to pay extra for ad-free shows and films if plans do go ahead. The MailOnline has contacted Amazon for comment.
Ross Benes, Insider Intelligence principle analyst, said: ‘In recent years, Prime Video has gotten more aggressive about running promos prior to its show and including ad-filled sports broadcasts.
‘Officially putting ads into Prime Video allows Amazon to centralise its audience and be more consistent with branding.’
The rumours have not been received well by Amazon users, and frustrated customers have taken to social media to complain about the service.
Prime Video and numerous of its competitors such as Netflix and Disney+ may be amping up ads – yet, typically, Amazon is more expensive than these other streaming sites
Netflix has seen a stall in membership after a crackdown on account sharing was implemented – the streaming platform is to introduce this new feature within the next free months
One Twitter user said: ‘Why am I paying for Amazon prime if when I put a film on they slap 300 metaverse adverts in it?’
Another claimed that the introduction of ads ‘would result in me cancelling.’
An Amazon Prime membership – which includes free shipping on the retail site – is currently priced at £8.99.
But Amazon Prime is not the only offender. A host of other major streaming services including Netflix and HBO Max now offer plans which include adverts.
Typically these services are cheaper without ads, as a Netflix subscription starts at £4.99 but can climb to £15.99 a commercial-free plan.
A Disney+ plan also starts cheaper than the Amazon package at £7.99 per month.
It comes as streaming services grapple with financial losses across the board, as shares of Paramount Global fell six per cent in trading.
Netflix has suffered a volatile few years, which has seen its stock plummet by as much as 47 per cent at times.
In the last quarter of 2022, the streaming giant saw its subscription base grow by a paltry 4 percent from the same period a year earlier.
The hinder in membership has been sparked by a crackdown on account sharing this year.
According to Netflix’s rules, people who do not live in the same household cannot stream from the same account.
While this was always a rule, the streaming platform is bringing in a new device verification feature which makes viewers prove where they are viewing from.
The new feature is yet to be implemented in the US after a roll-out in Spain and Canada prompted a drop in subscriptions.
Yet account sharing is expected to be banned in the next three months- although no official date has been given.