Say Farewell to a Streaming Era

Amazon Prime Video introduces ads
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2024 1:30 AM CST
Updated Feb 3, 2024 12:10 PM CST
A Streaming Era Has Just Ended
This March 19, 2018 file photo shows Amazon's Prime Video streaming app on an iPad in Baltimore.   (Associated Press)

The age of the ad-free streaming service (for no additional subscription cost) is essentially over: As expected, on Monday ads were introduced to Amazon's Prime Video streaming service. Now the five biggest streaming services (which also include Netflix, Disney+, Max, and Paramount+) are all ad-supported at their lowest price points, Gizmodo reports. One big difference in the Amazon rollout is that rather than first introducing a lower-cost tier with ads, as Netflix did, Amazon is keeping its price the same ($139/year for a full Amazon Prime membership, or $9/month for just the streaming service, CNET reports) and forcing those who don't want the newly introduced ads to pay an additional $3/month.

Hulu, Peacock, and other smaller streaming services also have ads on their lowest-cost tiers, with Apple TV+ being the only major streaming service without them—but it's also among the smallest, with only 25 million subscribers. Writes Maxwell Zeff at Gizmodo, "Streaming services once offered a strong alternative to cable, but as the landscape has become more competitive, they've all resorted to being just like their highly commercialized ancestors. ... The subscriber models for streaming services did not last long. We may be past a golden age of streaming, where companies were offering low-priced subscriptions for ad-free, premium content." (More Amazon Prime stories.)

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