Amazon Prime Video Planning To Join Ad-Supported Wave

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Amazon Prime Video's 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Following in the footsteps of Netflix and Disney Plus, Amazon is making plans to launch an ad-supported version of its Prime Video streaming service, according to published reports, including by The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon Prime Video currently does not put commercials in its movies and series, such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but does sell advertising when it runs Thursday Night Football.

The Prime Video home screen also offers views programming from Freevee, Amazon’s ad-supported streaming service. Those shows run with commercials, even for Prime Video subscribers. 

Like other players in the streaming business, Amazon is looking to generate more revenue as it ratchets up its spending on programming. Unlike Netflix, Amazon has a large, sophisticated advertising business and access to tons of consumer data.

Also Read: NewFronts: Amazon Prime Video Originals Moving to Ad-Supported Freevee

Asked about the reports, an Amazon spokesperson said, “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”

But the company pointed out that in the U.S. alone, Amazon’s ad-supported streaming TV solutions today reach an average monthly audience of more than 155 million viewers, and 10.9% of its audience cannot be found on linear TV. 

In addition to Freevee, Amazon sells advertising on its Twitch streaming service, Fire TV Channels and third-party publishers. The ads help “customers discover great products and brands through relevant advertising, and provide brands with the ability to uniquely engage with the right audiences, measure outcomes, and optimize their spend,” Amazon said.

In the first quarter, Amazon reported that revenue from all of its ad products rose 21% in the first quarter to $9.5 billion from Q1 2022.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.