Prime Video Gets Hit With Lawsuit for Its Ad Tier

Prime Video Gets Hit With Lawsuit for Its Ad Tier

News by Roberto Orosa
Published: February 13, 2024

Tech giant Amazon is facing a lawsuit as a frustrated customer took legal action, alleging breach of contract and false advertising.

The class action suit filed in Washington stems from a recent change to Amazon Prime's terms regarding ad-free streaming on Prime Video.

Formerly, Prime subscribers enjoyed ad-free viewing as part of their subscription package, but a recent change imposed an additional $2.99 charge for this privilege.

The plaintiff argues that the sudden shift in terms constitutes a breach of contract, especially for those who purchased annual subscriptions prior to the change.

They emphasize the expectation of ad-free streaming since Prime Video's inception in 2011, suggesting that the alteration undermines the initial agreement made with subscribers.

The Trend of Ad-Supported Streaming

The emergence of Prime Video's new ad-free tier reflects a broader trend in the streaming industry, where platforms like Netflix have segmented ad and ad-free subscription options.

Previously, Prime Video subscribers expressed disappointment over the introduction of ads, with many pointing out the streaming service's deficiencies. 

Netflix recently reported over 23 million monthly active users (MAUs) on its ad-supported tier alone.

However, this shift is not without its critics, with some content creators expressing frustration over the disruption of their creative vision by the inclusion of ads.

The lawsuit against Amazon highlights growing consumer scrutiny over changes to subscription services and underscores the need for transparency and clarity in subscription agreements.

Amazon has yet to respond publicly to the lawsuit, but the outcome of the case could have implications for how subscription-based platforms navigate changes to their service offerings in the future.

Amazon to Make Users Pay for Dolby Atmos and Vision

Amid the controversies, the tech conglomerate has officially confirmed another significant change to its Amazon Prime Video subscription: Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos surround sound are no longer included.

In order to regain access to the two features, customers will now have to pay the additional $2.99 per month, which also removes ads on the platform.

According to reports from 4KFilme, users with smart TVs from Sony, LG and Samsung have noticed a downgrade in audio and video quality, now limited to HDR10 with Dolby Digital 5.1 instead of the previously enjoyed higher fidelity options. And users are definitely not happy.

Initially bundled with Amazon Prime's comprehensive subscription for $15 a month or $139 a year, Prime Video now demands an additional 18% to access ad-free viewing and full fidelity.

For standalone Prime Video subscribers at $8.99 per month, the additional $2.99 represents a 28% increase.

Despite the cost, Prime Video's $8.99 per month subscription with ads remains competitively priced compared to Disney Plus with ads at $9.99 per month, while Netflix offers its 1080p service with ads for $6.99 per month.

Editing by Katherine 'Makkie' Maclang

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