TORONTO — Prime Video will jump on the ad wagon next year, introducing commercial breaks to its platform and hiking fees for those who want to avoid them.
The cost won't change for those willing to sit through advertisements and the company has yet to announce how much the ad-free tier will cost, however in the United States it will cost an extra $2.99 per month to avoid ads.
"Starting in 2024, Prime Video shows and movies will include limited advertisements in Canada. We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than traditional TV and other streaming TV providers," the company said in a press release.
Amazon launched Prime Video in Canada in 2016, included in the cost of Amazon Prime. The membership comes with free shipping options on the company's web store, along with a slew of other services. It costs $9.99 per month or $99 per year.
Amazon is following its competitors' lead by introducing a new planfor its streaming service, though it takes a slightly different tack by not offering a cheaper a rate.
Netflix last year introduced a “basic with ads” plan that cost $5.99 per month — $15 cheaper than its most expensive plan. The option included a smaller selection of films and TV shows with occasional commercial breaks.
Netflix continued to offer its previous $9.99 "basic" plan for several months before phasing it out and leaving only the premium tier and ad-supported option.
Crave followed suit this year, introducing a "basic with ads" option for $9.99 monthly and "standard with ads" for an extra $5.
Its ad-free option remained at $19.99 per month.
In addition to these multi-tiered streamers, there are also "FAST" options — free ad-supported streaming television — including the video-on-demand platforms Tubi and Pluto TV, which offer more than 100 channels of TV series, movies and sports.
CBC has also grown its selection of live, ad-supported streaming channels beyond its flagship CBC Explore news service with channels dedicated to comedy and local news.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2023.
Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press