Amazon Prime Video introducing ads starting Jan 29

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AtheistPreacher

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#1  Edited By AtheistPreacher

I guess this got announced this past September, but I missed it until I got an email from them today. Starting January 29th, there will be ads on Amazon Prime video, unless you cough up an extra $3/month to get rid of them, (or $36/year).

Is it just me, or does this seem like an objectively stupid way for Amazon to have announced this? I mean, Netflix has also introduced an ad tier, but they did it by offering an option with lower prices so that it didn't directly affect existing subscriptions, hence it couldn't be easily framed as taking something away. But in this case, Amazon is literally saying, "Your service is about to get shittier unless you pay us more." That framing seems way more likely to drive people away than if they had upped the price for Prime in early 2023 by, say, $20/year (from the current $140) while citing "inflation," and then offering a streaming video ad tier a year later for a discount.

In any case, I've been a Prime subscriber for quite a while, but this finally pushed me to cancel it. We'll see how much I miss it, but I suspect not much. I've still got Netflix, but have never signed up for any of the other streaming services and I'm not likely to anytime soon.

How's everyone else feeling about their streaming video services these days?

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tartyron

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#2  Edited By tartyron

I mean, prime has a more captive customer base due to the free shipping. They are probably banking on folks just eating it, because they don’t want to lose that part of things. I’m sure Amazon weights the loss of some prime members and figured the ad event and $3 subs will more than make up for it.

And the nature of constant growth in profits always results in diminishing quality of service and product as more blood gets squeezed from the stone.

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Ben_H

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#3  Edited By Ben_H

I'm not sure how it is in the US but in Canada at least, I've found Amazon's Prime Video service to be kind of underwhelming. Tons of the content on it here is locked behind additional subscriptions (For example, if I wanted to watch Robocop, which is only on Prime here, and to do so I have to subscribe to Prime and then spend another few dollars a month on some other thing within Prime video to unlock a subset of content. I just, uhh, found Robocop through other means instead).

The one upside here though is that unlike the US, we don't have nearly as many services so all the content isn't as spread out everywhere. The cable companies here run a streaming service called Crave that basically combines HBO and a bunch of other things into one big service. It's honestly kinda good. Other than that we have Disney and Netflix, which are similar to how they are in the US.

I'm not a big user of these services anymore though. I just subscribe to them for a month when there's something I want to watch or when they have deals on (Disney had $6 for 3 months recently so I did that and saw Star Wars Episode 1 in HD for the first time since I'd only seen it on VHS. Obi-wan's hair looks atrocious in HD). I don't watch a lot of TV anymore so it's not worth it for me.

I guess the one thing I do subscribe to is F1TV for the archive so I can watch old races while I exercise. It's an actually genuinely good service now. It used to suck and have a lot of missing full races but now they have everything I've wanted to watch.

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eccentrix

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Twitch Prime is a similar thing where it should be a premium service that removes ads, but instead there's Twitch Turbo, which is the actual thing that removes ads. I recently started paying for Turbo because I spend most of my time on Twitch, either watching or streaming myself, but it feels embarrassing to do so. Turbo comes with a chat badge like Prime does, but unlike Prime, I've seen several people with Turbo say they'd never use the badge because they don't want to be seen paying for the service.

Twitch Prime barely feels like any incentive at all, whereas Twitch as a company and Amazon in general have such a bad reputation that people don't want to give them money based on that alone.

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ThePanzini

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I guess like most people I have Prime for the free delivery the video is a bonus, but Prime has the worst content discovery of any service. Just finding something to watch is so painful, shows are often listed multiple times Prime also promotes content I'll just never watch. The ads a not really a deal breaker because the only time I ever use it is when I seek out a show, like the upcoming Fallout.

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mellotronrules

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i'll be honest- i'm a beneficiary of someone else's prime sub (i get the shipping perks but none of the other services), so it doesn't affect me since i don't have streaming privileges in the first place.

however once my meal ticket expires, i likely wouldn't pay for prime. just doesn't seem worth it anymore.

twitch is already kind of an ads-addled hellscape- wouldn't be surprised if it gets worse.

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AV_Gamer

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#7  Edited By AV_Gamer

People have gotten used to the free one to two-day shipping, and they know it. So they've been raising the prices for their stuff, knowing most people will accept it and not cancel the service when push comes to shove. The only thing that prevents stuff like this from happening, or stopping it, is if a competitor brand appears to challenge Amazon. Until something like this happens, they will continue to use monopoly business practices. It's the nature of the beast.

And yes, Twitch has also gotten worse with the ads, because they are also the leaders of the game streaming service. Youtube Gaming has its place, but it doesn't come close to Twitch. They tried to take them on by hiring top streaming influencers from Twitch, and it didn't even make a dent. Viewers just moved on to another personality to watch.

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ThePanzini

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#8  Edited By ThePanzini

@av_gamer: Not sure about the US, in the UK Prime hasn't often increased 2014 & 2022, but every service went up recently Sky goes up pretty much every other year.

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Ben_H

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I guess like most people I have Prime for the free delivery the video is a bonus, but Prime has the worst content discovery of any service. Just finding something to watch is so painful, shows are often listed multiple times Prime also promotes content I'll just never watch. The ads a not really a deal breaker because the only time I ever use it is when I seek out a show, like the upcoming Fallout.

This! I checked Prime Video out recently when I had a free trial for Prime again recently. Like five or more years after it first launched they still have every season of a TV show as a separate entry. And they mix in content you'd have to rent or subscribe to extra levels of service with the normal content so it's a huge mess. It's so bad.

I'll also echo the sentiment that Prime in general, at least for me, doesn't seem worth it anymore. Amazon Canada is increasingly filled with junk and a lot of the things I used to buy on there regularly are either not sold on there anymore or are only sold by third parties. Weirdly enough I've been shopping locally a lot more the last year or so. I kind of actually enjoy shopping again, especially at local stores and I know that the thing I'm buying isn't going to be a knockoff.

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bigsocrates

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#10 bigsocrates  Online

@ben_h: "I know that the thing I'm buying isn't going to be a knockoff."

Sounds like somebody doesn't live near Canal Street in New York.

Shopping locally is great but as someone who doesn't have a car it can be pretty inconvenient for a lot of things. If locally is five blocks away that's one thing. If locally is 2 miles away it's another. Additionally it depends on how big or heavy the items are. And then there's the issue of living in a place without a lot of big box stores so if you want to buy more than a few items you might end up having to go to a whole bunch of different locations, which is a pain in and of itself.

Which is not to say that I use Amazon for everything, I do try and shop local when it's reasonable, just that it sort of depends on your situation. And obviously for people in rural areas it's even tougher, since some items may not be available closer than an hour or longer drive away (especially in winter.)

Getting back to Prime Video, this change sucks but I think having to pay $3 a month (presumably on a month to month basis) to remove ads is not that big a price rise. Unless Amazon Prime is your primary video service my assumption is most people will not need to keep that additional subscription active so we're talking lie $12 a year or whatever? It's not great but it's not exactly a massive price hike. I understand that we're getting nickel and dimed to death and it does add up, with increased prices for PlayStation Plus and Game pass along with rising prices for streaming video and everything else, this is just not the one that's biggest for me.

And I think that Prime Video is pretty great for what is essentially an add on service. I don't know anyone who subscribes to Prime for the video.

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Ben_H

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@ben_h: "I know that the thing I'm buying isn't going to be a knockoff."

Sounds like somebody doesn't live near Canal Street in New York.

Shopping locally is great but as someone who doesn't have a car it can be pretty inconvenient for a lot of things. If locally is five blocks away that's one thing. If locally is 2 miles away it's another. Additionally it depends on how big or heavy the items are. And then there's the issue of living in a place without a lot of big box stores so if you want to buy more than a few items you might end up having to go to a whole bunch of different locations, which is a pain in and of itself.

I don't live anywhere near New York and wouldn't want to (I'm not a big city person) so this isn't a concern for me. I was talking purely about myself and my situation. I thought the "At least for me" chunk of my post would make that clear.

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bigsocrates

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#12  Edited By bigsocrates  Online

@ben_h: That was more of a comment about how you'd be surprised at the number of bootlegs of various kinds that you find even shopping in stores. Canal Street is notorious for it but there's plenty of bootleg merchandise all over. Maybe not so much if you're only going to chain stores, but a TON if you're shopping second hand or at garage sales etc...

And even if you're only shopping at chain stores with defined supply chains a lot of products like honey and "extra virgin" olive oil is bootleg (i.e. not what it claims to be.) I mean we all know about the notorious Chinese supply chain issues but it goes well beyond that.

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CreepingDeath0

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I've found it very amusing that there's been a big advertising push here on TV over the holidays to subscribe to Prime, with it's current price and absolutely no mention of ads being introduced. I expect there will be a lot of irritated new subscribers soon.

No skin off my teeth. I avoid Amazon on principle and prefer to own the media I like. Hopefully this'll be another thing that pushes people back to physical.

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Ben_H

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@bigsocrates: Okay? I'm aware of all of this. A lot of people are nowadays. I don't know why you're assuming I'm not.

Amazon has well known problems with the intermingling of their own stock with third parties which is often how people end up getting fakes even when they buy things from Amazon themselves. There are entire categories of products that it's recommended people don't buy on there as a result. They've had this reputation for years now and is a big reason why I and a lot of other folks don't trust them anymore.

If I'm gonna buy an SD card I'll go to the local electronics or photo place. For them, selling knockoffs would destroy their reputation and probably sink their business so I trust them a lot more to be reliable. The photography shop I go to has been around and successful locally for decades. They aren't going to risk their entire business to make a few more dollars by going with sketchy suppliers that might give them counterfeits.

But again where I live is quite different than a big city where there are dozens of any type of store. I am talking about my own experience only.