Another price hike is on the way.
Amazon is following the likes of Disney+, NOW and Netflix by adding adverts to it’s video streaming – and you’ll have to pay more to watch ad-free. Here’s what you need to know.
What’s changing with Amazon Prime Video?
From 5 February 2024, a “limited number of adverts” will be shown on films and TV watched via Amazon Prime Video.
This is the case whether you pay for the full Prime membership at £8.99 a month / £95 a year or the Prime Video only package at £5.99 a month. It’ll also apply for those on an Amazon Prime 30-day free trial and student memberships.
What’s the new fee?
Those Prime and Prime Video costs won’t change, but there is an optional new fee you can pay which will remove those adverts.
It’ll cost £2.99 a month, and like the other monthly subscription options you can cancel it anytime as it’s a rolling month contract. You can add this to your account now, but you won’t get charged until 5 February.
Obviously you don’t have to pay this, but if you do opt for this over 12 months, that’s an extra £35.88 you’ll add to your existing charges, meaning Prime Video will cost:
- Upfront full Amazon Prime with no adverts = £120.88
- Monthly Prime Video only with no adverts = £107.76
It’s worth noting that this fee doesn’t remove adverts from any sports coverage, or Amazon’s free TV streaming channel Freevee.
Can you beat the extra charge?
“Act fast to binge shows before the charge starts”
Sadly there’s no workaround right now that’ll mean you can continue watching advert free without paying the charge.
The only saving grace is there’s a full month before the change happens, so I’d suggest if there are shows you’ve been planning to watch on Prime Video I’d start binging them now so you can enjoy them without interruption.
Some programmes I’d recommend include The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, Hacks, They Boys. I’m going to try catch the latest series of Fargo before my free trial ends.
Once you’ve watched everything you want to see, cancel it and move onto a different streaming service and do the same. You can come back to Prime Video later, with or without paying extra to avoid adverts.
More changes coming to Prime Video
Another change that’s not been massively promoted is that Amazon has lost it’s rights to show Premier League football.
Though only two rounds of fixtures have been shown in December for the last three years, it’s certainly been a big reason people have signed up.
There will still be matches shown in December 2024, but after that you’ll need Sky or TNT Sports to catch those same games.
Yet another streaming price hike
Though Amazon hasn’t directly hiked prices, by asking you to pay extra to keep the same service, it’s effectively the same thing.
And Amazon aren’t the first streamer to introduce adverts. First Netflix Standard with Ads launched and then last year Disney+ also added a new tier with commercials.
What’s different is that both these are offered at a cheaper rate of £4.99 a month, so users can choose to switch to these and save money if they wish. Amazon’s new plan means they’re no longer one of the cheaper streaming options, with or without adverts.
NOW TV also introduced a £6 Boost fee to ditch commercials (though a hack means you can usually get this reduced to £2 a month).
And this trend isn’t going away. Our friends at Cordbusters have reported that Paramount+ is set to do the same this year (though we don’t know prices or when).
And another Amazon Prime extra fee too
This isn’t the first extra charge Prime members have faced in recent months. In September we reported on a new £1.99 charge for same day delivery under £20.
And that followed a price hike to the Amazon Prime fees themselves in late 2022, jumping from £79 a year to £95.
Time to cancel Amazon Prime?
Long term readers will know I’m not a fan of Prime. Though it at first seems to represent really good value for money, it could actually be costing you more money.
As I found in my year without Amazon, ditching Prime meant I was more willing to shop around for better prices, as well as drastically reducing impulse purchases.
Though there are a few features with Prime, their value is only going to make a difference if you don’t use alternatives, eg pay (extra) for music streaming via Prime rather than Spotify.
And now this extra charge, if you choose to pay it, makes the whole thing even more expensive.
So I’d certainly suggest you ditch it – you can always sign back up for the odd month here or there when you’re shopping for big events or want to catch new TV and film. Don’t forget it’s often possible to get a new free trial every 12 months.
Here’s my full Amazon Prime review to help you decide if it’s worth keeping.