Amazon is in talks to launch an ad-supported tier of Prime Video, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Sources close to the situation tell the outlet that the discussions are still in the “early stages” but have been happening over the span of the past several weeks.
Amazon currently offers Prime Video as part of its $14.99 per month Prime membership or for $8.99 per month as a standalone subscription. Subscribers can tack on other ad-free subscriptions to services like Max, Paramount Plus, and Showtime through Prime Video Channels.
As noted by the WSJ, Amazon is currently weighing several ways it could implement ads in Prime Video, such as showing more ads to existing Prime subscribers and then offering an “option to pay more for an ad-free alternative and other features.” The ad breaks will reportedly be “short,” but there’s still no word on whether it will beat Max’s promised three to four minutes of ads per hour or how much the tier will cost. Amazon declined to comment.
It would make sense for Prime Video to offer an ad-supported tier, as Amazon is already deep into the advertising industry, which grew to $9.5 billion in revenue according to its most recent earnings report. Amazon is also doubling down on Freevee, its free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service, by adding content from Prime Video, such as The Summer I Turned Pretty and A League of Their Own. As Amazon (and just about every other tech company) deals with layoffs and uncertain economic conditions, an ad-supported tier could help Amazon bring in more money.
Additionally, the WSJ reports that Amazon is in talks with Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount to start offering the ad-supported versions of Max and Paramount Plus within its Prime Video Channels. The company could also place a bid for the streaming rights to the National Basketball Association games when they expire in 2025, potentially bolstering its sports streaming lineup, which currently includes Thursday Night Football.
Update June 7th, 5:22PM ET: Updated to add that Amazon declined to comment.