Streaming is getting more expensive, especially for those who don’t want to be interrupted by advertisements. On an earning call yesterday (Oct. 26), Amazon (AMZN) CEO Andy Jassy said he has “increasing conviction” that Prime Video can be a “large and profitable business in its own right.” The comment came after Amazon announced plans to introduce ads to Prime Video and charge viewers more for an ad-free subscription. Its rivals Netflix (NFLX) and Apple (AAPL) also recently announced price increases for their streaming plans, following the steps of Max (formerly HBO Max), Hulu and Disney.
For Amazon and Netflix, the price hikes indicate their intention to profit from ads. Customers who want to watch their shows and movies ad-free and access premium features will have to pay extra either now or in the coming months. Apple’s Apple TV+ will remain ad-free, but it just became more pricey.
Netflix: Ad-free plans have gone up by as much as 20 percent
Netflix announced a price hike last week after its third-quarter earnings release. The price of its ad-tier service ($6.99 per month) and standard plan ($15.49 per month) are unchanged. But the ad-free basic and premium plans now cost $11.99 per month and $22.99 per month, respectively, up from $9.99 and $19.99 before, representing an increase of up to 20 percent.
Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters said during the company’s earnings call that Netflix looks to “wisely invest” the extra money members pay.
Apple TV+: From $6.99 to $9.99
Apple’s streaming service Apple TV+ will stay ad-free, but its monthly cost has gone up by $3 to $9.99, the company said on Oct. 25. Apple last raised the price of Apple TV+ just a year ago, from $4.99 per month to $6.99 per month.
Apple Arcade, a video game subscription, and Apple News+ are also going up in prices. Apple One bundles, which contain multiple Apple subscriptions in one package, also had a price bump. The individual plan is now $19.95 per month; the family plan is $22.95 per month; and the premier plan costs $37.95 per month.
New customers will be hit with the changes immediately, while existing customers are set to pay the new prices 30 days from the announcement.
Apple is expected to report third-quarter earnings on Nov. 2.
Amazon Prime Video: From $14.99 to $17.98
Amazon announced in September that its ad-free Prime Video service will cost $2.99 per month. Currently, Amazon Prime Video is ad-free and is included in the regular Prime membership.
But starting 2024, Prime Video will come with ads by default in the U.S., and customers who want to skip ads will have to pay $2.99 each month on top of a $14.99 Prime membership. But CEO Jassy said Prime Video aims to have “meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV or other streaming TV providers.”