Amazon Prime Video, one of the leading streaming platforms in India, has announced that it will start showing ads during its shows and movies from early next year. The move is part of the company’s strategy to align with the industry trends and offer more choices to its customers. However, not everyone is happy with the decision, as some users may prefer to watch their favorite content without interruptions. Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming change and how it will impact the streaming landscape in India.
What is the new ad-supported model?
According to the company, the new ad-supported model will have “meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers”. This means that users will still be able to enjoy the high-quality content that Prime Video is known for, but with occasional breaks for advertisements. The ads will be relevant to the users’ interests and preferences, and will help the company generate more revenue to invest in content production and acquisition.
However, users who want to keep their streaming experience ad-free will have to pay an extra $2.99 (₹220) per month in the US. The pricing for other countries, including India, will be announced later. The existing Prime Video members will be automatically opted-in to the ad-supported tier and their monthly subscription price will not change. They will be notified of the change and offered the ad-free upgrade weeks before the ads roll out.
Why is Amazon introducing ads on Prime Video?
The decision to introduce ads on Prime Video is not surprising, as it follows the trend of other streaming services that offer tiered subscriptions. For example, Disney+ and Netflix also have ad-free plans at premium rates, while Hulu and Peacock have ad-supported and ad-free options. The rationale behind this strategy is to cater to different segments of customers, who may have different preferences and budgets. Some customers may not mind watching ads if they can save some money, while others may value uninterrupted viewing and be willing to pay more.
Another reason for introducing ads on Prime Video is to compete with the growing number of streaming platforms in the market, especially in India. According to a report by PwC, India is expected to become the sixth-largest OTT market in the world by 2024, with a revenue of $2.9 billion. The report also predicts that India will have 500 million online video subscribers by 2023, surpassing the US. With such a huge potential, streaming platforms are vying for a share of the pie, and offering more choices and flexibility to customers is one way to attract and retain them.
How will it affect the streaming landscape in India?
The introduction of ads on Prime Video will have a significant impact on the streaming landscape in India, as it will change the dynamics of the market and the consumer behavior. On one hand, it may create more opportunities for advertisers, content creators, and distributors, as they can leverage the large and diverse audience of Prime Video. On the other hand, it may also create more challenges for the platform, as it will have to balance the quality and quantity of ads, and ensure that they do not compromise the user experience and satisfaction.
Moreover, the introduction of ads on Prime Video will also affect the competitive edge of the platform, as it will have to face more pressure from other players in the market. Prime Video is not just a standalone service, but part of the larger Amazon Prime membership package, which includes perks like free shipping and online music. This gives it an advantage over other streaming services, as it offers more value for money. However, with the addition of ads, some users may feel that they are not getting the best deal, and may switch to other platforms that offer better or cheaper options.
Furthermore, the introduction of ads on Prime Video will also raise some regulatory and ethical issues, as the platform will have to comply with the laws and norms of different countries and regions. For instance, in India, the platform will have to follow the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which regulate the content and advertisements on OTT platforms. The platform will also have to respect the privacy and consent of the users, and avoid showing ads that are inappropriate, misleading, or offensive.
What is the reaction of the users?
The reaction of the users to the announcement of ads on Prime Video has been mixed, as some have expressed their disappointment and frustration, while others have shown their support and understanding. Some users have taken to social media to voice their opinions, and have shared memes, jokes, and complaints about the change. Some have also threatened to cancel their subscriptions, or switch to other platforms that do not have ads.
However, some users have also defended the decision, and have argued that ads are inevitable and necessary for the sustainability and growth of the platform. They have also pointed out that the ads will be minimal and relevant, and that the users will have the option to opt-out and pay extra for an ad-free experience. They have also praised the platform for its quality and variety of content, and have expressed their loyalty and appreciation.