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Amazon plans ad-supported tier for Prime Video

The development of the tier is still in early stages, and may ultimately not launch, according to a report.

The development of the tier is still in early stages, and may ultimately not launch, according to a report.

Amazon is in the preliminary stages of developing an ad-supported tier of its Prime Video streaming service, according to a report published this week.

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal said the creation of an ad-free tier comes after ad buyers have expressed interest in purchasing more inventory against Amazon’s premium streaming television series and original films. Amazon is equally interested in unlocking more commercial revenue potential for its Prime Video content, the Journal affirmed.

It wasn’t clear from the Journal’s report how much Amazon intends to charge for the ad-supported version of Prime Video, if and when it launches. Currently, Prime Video is included in Amazon’s Prime membership, which costs $15 a month or $150 a year, though streamers have the option to purchase Prime Video without a Prime membership for $9 a month.

Also unclear is whether the ad-supported version of Prime Video will include live access to the National Football League’s Thursday Night Football, which Amazon has the exclusive national telecast rights to for the next several years. Those games also stream for free on Amazon’s gamer-centric service Twitch, but access is limited to phones, tablets and computers.

The Journal cautioned that Amazon’s development of an ad-free tier is in the preliminary stages, and the company could ultimately abandon its plans before it progresses to the point of launch.

Amazon already incorporates some ad-supported content into Prime Video that is franchised from its free, ad-supported streaming service called Freevee. Last month, Amazon said it will distribute some Prime Video originals through Freevee in an attempt to drum up more interest for Prime Video; that content will include short ad breaks, just as other Freevee content does.

Additionally, Amazon generates streaming revenue through the selling of subscriptions to third-party services through a feature called Prime Video Channels. Those services include Max, Discovery Plus, Paramount Plus, Starz and AMC Plus.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).