By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

Amazon announced today that it will start showing ads with Prime Video shows and movies early next year unless you pay an extra $3 a month to exclude them. The company said the Prime Video shows and movies will include “limited advertisements,” but it did not specify how long the ads will be or how many will air per hour. Amazon’s live sports, such as NFL Thursday Night Football games, already include commercials but soon so will shows such as Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Reacher, The Boys, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. “We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers. Ads in Prime Video content will be introduced in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Canada in early 2024, followed by France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia later in the year,” Amazon said in a statement posted on its web site.

The etailer said a new ad-free option will be available for $2.99 a month in the United States with pricing details coming later for other countries. “We will email Prime members several weeks before ads are introduced into Prime Video with information on how to sign up for the ad-free option if they would like,” Amazon said.

An Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99 a month or $139 a year. A membership plan to only Amazon Prime Video is $8.99 a month. (The Prime membership provides many more benefits, such as free two-day shipping.) The introduction of ads is another example of the streaming industry striving for new ways to generate revenue with losses piling up due to the high cost of programming. Netflix and Max have also introduced ads-included plans in the last several months.

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— Phillip Swann