Paying for ad-free Prime Video does not remove all ads

As previously announced, Amazon Prime Video began showing ads to Prime members this week. The first time most customers start a movie or TV show on Prime Video this week, a popup message gives them the option to pay an additional $2.99 per month to watch without ads. However, customers across Amazon’s forums, Reddit, and other places are complaining that paying for the ad-free subscription does not actually remove all ads.

Some Prime Video customers are understandably confused at why they are still seeing ads in the Prime Video app even though they signed up for the extra $2.99 per month ad-free plan. That’s because content from Freevee, Prime Video Channels, and live sporting events, which can all be viewed from within the Prime Video app, all contain ads that are not removed when subscribing to the $2.99 per month plan. While these are all video streams that are accessed through Prime Video in some way, they are considered separate from the free content included with a Prime subscription and, therefore, continue to show ads.

As someone who follows Amazon’s streaming service offerings closely, I never expected any of these adjacent Amazon-run streams to stop showing ads when subscribed to the ad-free plan. Nevertheless, it’s understandable for an average person to feel perplexed and frustrated upon encountering an ad in the same app that had just promised to remove ads after charging them.

The confusion doesn’t end there because Amazon is also continuing to play trailers for its own original content before Prime Video streams for people who have paid for the ad-free subscription. Apparently, Amazon does not consider pre-roll trailers to be ads. What’s worse is that these trailers can no longer be skipped, like you used to be able to do before this week. So, even if you agree to pay the extra $2.99 per month to preserve the way things used to be, watching Prime Video is now a worse experience because you have to sit through an occasional trailer.

46 comments
  1. Jim says:

    I’m seriously considering dropping Prime.
    Getting tired of the ads game being pushed out to all platforms. Seeing ads on YouTube TV for gaming apps. Enough already.

    • Manabi says:

      I’m going to drop it when my current year runs out in July. While I rarely watch anything on Prime Video (or any other service), changing Prime Video from ad free to with ads devalues the service. I’m also going to be buying a lot less, as my financial situation has gotten seriously worse since my dad died. (He helped me pay my utility bills, I don’t know what I’m going to do.) But I was thinking about dropping it before that, even getting a year of Walmart+ when it was discounted to see if it was worth switching to. It’s certainly a _lot_ cheaper and the scan as you go feature is really nice. Since I use reusable shopping bags I can bag up my groceries as I shop, making for a much quicker checkout and a shorter shopping experience.

      • Adam says:

        Been a decade-plus long Prime customer, but I realized its lost its value to me, especially with the regular rate increases. Shipping is almost never two days anymore. Free shipping is nice, but I can find my way to stack my orders to reach it without Prime. Or maybe I just don’t buy something from Amazon. Things get deleted from my wishlist more often than bought these days I notice. Prime Day sales are a joke with easily observed pricing shenanigans.

        The Prime video was a nice perk to be sure, but the interface sucked and made using it painful long before the ads. The ads and the extra cost to remove them just makes it insulting as a customer at this point. There are easy alternative means to watch any Amazon content I want without ads.

        Like you, I was going to wait until my year expired to cancel, but then I saw that you get a prorated refund for your unused time. I realized that if I had decided that Prime wasn’t worth renewing, then my unused time was worth more to me in money than months, so I cancelled immediately.
        Prime used to be a good value.
        That golden goose is thoroughly deceased. It has ceased to be.
        If free shipping for orders under $35 and Whole Foods discount are important to you, then its still a good deal.

        • Manabi says:

          They’re having problems with shipping beyond it being slower. At least five times now, since September, they have fake-shipped something. The app would notify me the item had shipped, then notify me it was out for delivery, but it didn’t show up. I’d look at the tracking and they hadn’t actually shipped it, just pretended to. I’d order the same item from the exact same lisdting at that point: it’d arrive quickly and I’d have to manually cancel the fake-shipped order. The last one they did that on I forgot to cancel the fake-shipped order. They did eventually ship it—a month after the order was placed.

          And then there are items that show with long ship times for no clear reason. I ordered an Xbox One Series S/X controller on the 27th that said it’d arrive between the 2nd and 4th. They didn’t actually ship it until today, the 2nd. Why did they need a week to ship the controller? I only put up with it because it was $8 cheaper than the normal list price and I need to save all the money I can right now.

          • Really ??? says:

            Well….. there you go, you asked and answered your very own question! you put up with it because it was CHEAPER so all this long review was a waste of energy and time you could have just used for something useful. Did you now see the benefit of having the membership? ‍♂️

      • Krista says:

        I pay for no ads and im still getting ads and they arent previews they are actual ads. Considering droping prime completely

    • Andy says:

      Me too. Far too may ads wven after paying the 2.99 blackmail. I think I’m done.

  2. Noneya says:

    Contacted state attorney filed fraud chatges

  3. Ujn Hunter says:

    Hahaha it’s all so crazy.

  4. Mike says:

    Last month was my last month of Prime membership. Amazon was messing up the deliveries too often and when I heard about the ads starting, I just quit. Those were the two major reasons I kept Prime. And also, some of their nicer shows started on Prime Video and then switched to their freevee garbage. They didn’t have anything I wanted that much to put up with paying to watch ads.

  5. OscarLeif says:

    Well too bad people just ignore physical media…at least you can just skip the ads (trailers) with a button.

  6. Tech guy says:

    I suggest somebody coordinate an effort to boycott advertisers on Prime for a month or so after their ad runs. If people stop buying advertised product, merchants will stop purchasing advertising from Prime which should get their attention and teach them a lesson.

    Anyone willing to post Prime advertiser’s name & products so we can all act in an organized manner?

    • Eric says:

      The Prime video ads are mostly for Amazon products or services which make the whole ad thing even worse.

    • Irritated with Hi-Tech robbery says:

      It really won’t teach them a lesson, Amazon will just keep raising prices, and why will they do it? Because there will not be enough consumers that WILL actually drop the service, Bezos gets his money either way and his customers still get messed over and why, because just like everything else, prices are so inflated that companies already plan for the consumer backlash, so they don’t care if a few customers fall off the branches, they have it covered and still get their money,

  7. Keith says:

    It was always gonna come down to this. They can’t figure out a way to turn a profit even with a monopoly. First they raise prices then they insert ads then they raise prices repeat
    Fundamental flaw of infinite growth
    I can assure people’s bank accounts are very finite. It’s not a question of if it’s just a matter of when
    I won’t pay for ads. Ill do something radical like start reading books. Maybe check them out for free at the library while they still exist.

  8. John says:

    I agree that the Amazon Prime offering when compared to Netflix is very poor or just rubbish. The quality / cost of watching is just off putting and the repeated ask for top ups and poor videos is making my use restricted to free delivery. Also the number of crap products and fogey suppliers makes using Amaxo mine field.

  9. paul furrer says:

    Its Outrageous that they are asking for money to avoid Ads that were absent previously with the same subscription..Prime video is turning into Freevee..
    Alot of commenters saying that prime is all about the shipping and that the video is just a perk..Not everyone is in that boat…I wanted prime for the Video and the shipping was the perk in my case… Although, prime has been terrible with its shipping lately, often amounting to no savings in cost or time with orders chronically arriving late and way outside the promised times…As far as the video, sure its 4k and I have a few series I really enjoy here but their audio quality is abysmal at 192kbps compared to 640 and 768kbps on netflix and apple…Im also seriously considering just dropping the service..its a BAD move and a Greedy one that will Utimately have reprecussions on their sales..Its actions like this that tend to push people twords downloading what they want to see for Free..those same people Would pay a reasonable amount to enjoy adfree streaming but Noone likes being gouged pricewise and many will just kick amazon to the curb and watch the Same videos in Other ways at no charge.

  10. Hilario says:

    I decided to cancel my Prime subscription last night because except for free delivery, I don’t use prime music, prime reading or any of their other included services. I will, however, continue to pay for kindle unlimited and comixology for my manga fix.

  11. Tj says:

    The ads haven’t been as bad as I thought they’d be. For example, I usually get 2 ads and then none during the movie or show. Sometimes I get no ads at all. Others, epically on a tablet, I get an ad or during the show.

    • Adam says:

      Good point. This being the start of the ad system, this is probably as bad as Amazon will ever make them…

      • Mike says:

        I think I sense a little sarcasm in your … :)

        to paraphrase that old saying: A few ads here, a few ads there and soon you’ve got real marketing.

        When TV first started getting commercials, they started out small. The first ‘legal’ TV ad was in 1941 and within 8 years they started with 30 minute infomercials.

    • JamieOnyx says:

      I had 3 Ads play in the Middle of Movies and TV Shows WTF

  12. b says:

    ads really arent that bad. short and not many

  13. Craig says:

    Oh no! Another streaming service charging more for no commercials! If this keeps up I’ll show them and cancel everything and go to ota television. We’ll see how they like that!

    • Adam says:

      No, there’s easily accessible options beyond that.

      I’ll watch any Amazon content I wish, ad free, for free.

      Meanwhile, Amazon loses my $139 a year, me as one person to claim to advertisers (the most anyone can be), me in front of their ads in their shows, and me in their app seeing other media they want to sell me. Plus, as they know, Im much less likely to impulse buy without Prime.

      Yes, I know Amazon will be quite fine without me. But still, given that what I just described is the totality of what any single customer can provide to Amazon, I feel that their decision is losing them more than it is me.
      I think Im coming out ahead.

  14. mrvco says:

    This definitely opens the door to experimenting without Prime for a year.

    #1: How do my buying patterns change to alternative on-line or local vendors?
    #2: How much do I end up spending in shipping, including any items that I can’t find anywhere other than from Amazon?

  15. opp says:

    the add is it, im not going to renew when my current year is up.

  16. Danny says:

    I am dropping prime f*** them
    I don’t have any fire, Amazon sticks what we use in our home is Apple TVs boxes and my family and my friends as well. We have zero ads I am not paying 2.99 for no ads lol how about go Fuck your self Amazon

  17. Richard says:

    I watched a movie last night on Prime Video and say one 30 second ad, which granted was unskippable but there used to be an ad before starting any content going back years. No other ad was seen during the movie. If I start seeing ads within the content itself then I’m gonna be mad!

  18. Richard says:

    This 2.99 fee could have been a great opportunity to make Freevee content ad free for Prime subscribers!

    • Mike says:

      That definitely would have made me think longer about leaving. I’m not sure it would have made the difference, but it certainly would have made me pause. Sounds like a great idea.

  19. Dan Oz says:

    A while back, “Prime only” started returning Freevee movies in any listing you requested for Prime only content. That was frustrating, but we were told Freevee was included with Prime “free” content. Now that we are asked to pay for “AD Free” Prime, why can’t we get a true listing on Amazon platforms like the Firestick of content that actually does not include ADs? Give me that, and don’t take it away in the future, and I might pay the $2.99 a month. Otherwise I will most likely cancel my Prime membership within the next 6 months.

    • Dan Oz says:

      Just noticed there is a “Fire TV Short Cut App” –> “Free Movies & TV”. All Amazon has to do is create one called “No ADs Free Movies & TV” and I might stick around with PRIME for $2.99

  20. Missy says:

    As soon as I can find something like TIVO and record my shows. am going to drop all my streaming services. I paid for NO ADS for a reason and now Prime is the only streaming APP who is still pushing ads.

  21. Jay says:

    Bullshit, Prime can suck it.

  22. Eddie says:

    If they going to show ads the should show the all the ads at the beginning and let the show or movie play withoutit. That is the way Peacock channel does.

  23. Deni May-Frazier says:

    Yes, just subscribed to ad free & still getting ads. Going to drop prime all together. Not what it use to be.

  24. Heather says:

    I smell a class action lawsuit in the works. I just paid for “ad-free” and had two ads pop up anyway during the remainder of a show, even after restarting Prime Video.

  25. Connie says:

    I pay for TWO subscriptions: for the content AND for ad-free. For the first couple weeks it was beautiful – trailer-free and ad-free like it used to be. Then pre-roll trailers started to appear and an occasional ad (both are actually ads). I knew this would happen because all online services are greedy and addicted to ads. Ads rule the world. The user experience just doesn’t matter to them. I don’t care WHY they put ads on certain shows – I just don’t want to see them. Now, whenever I click on a movie or show I always wonder: Will they stick an ad in this time? Will they gouge me this time? This and most digital services are now cringe.

  26. Brian says:

    I will drop it too; they seldom ship anything for free, and if I want ads, I’ll go back to cable. I paid the 2.99/ month on top of the 139/year and am still seeing ads on “Hell on Wheels”. I don’t know which service I’m getting that through, nor do I care about it. It is on the Amazon Prime selection screen. I’m trying to watch TV, not looking for another hobby, “figuring out which service is which on Amazon”. Those guys at Amazon are greedy, and they suck! Bye-bye!

  27. Kevin says:

    One of the wealthiest companies in the world and they play games with the customers who buy their products. Understand that we pay for Prime, it’s not free. When you offer ad free service and they say Freeve is not included but it’s owned by Amazon and put into Prime as a separate streaming service, This is a bait and switch plane and simple. Only way to get Amazon (Prime) to get it, is to stop using their service. Once the $ starts to drop, they’ll get it. American GREED at its finest! Way to go Jeff! That’s right, he doesn’t care anymore, he has all the money he could ever possibly use.

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