Brace yourself – more adverts are coming to Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video home page
(Image credit: Amazon)

Streaming services – once the place to escape from regularly scheduled advertisement breaks – are now absolutely bursting at the seams with ads. 

Netflix, Disney and Amazon have all implemented ad-supported tiers within their respective streaming video-on-demand services, introducing a wallet-friendly monthly subscription tier that brings ad breaks back into the fray. These tiers also tend to do away with features like 4K streaming, Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos, and downloading content to watch offline too. 

Amazon, is in the spotlight today, with a new approach to ads on its Prime Video service. It already offers a basic plan, which it launched in February of this year in the US, Canada, UK and Germany, to which all Prime subscribers have access too – though users can pay an additional £3 / $3 / €3 if they want to enjoy ad-free viewing in Dolby Vision and Atmos. 

However, it has deemed that ad breaks simply aren't enough, and to remedy that, it will introduce some new additions to ramp ads up on Prime Video. Foremost will be pause screen ads which, as the name suggests, will show users advertisements when they pause the film or TV series they're watching. 

As rightfully pointed out by FlatpanelsHD, it's unknown whether this will impact the X-Ray feature on Prime Video which shows you the actor/actress currently on screen (powered by IMDB), as well as information or trivia about the content and any music playing in the scene when you pause your content. Doing away with this feature feels like a real shame, especially if that space will now be occupied with ads, and locking it as another feature behind the more expensive tier when all users have had access to it for years feels like a notable step backwards.

It looks like Amazon will include two styles of ads with this new "feature". The first is carousel ads, which will show users a selection of products to shop from the Amazon storefront, allowing them to cycle between them and add them to their Amazon shopping basket with their TV remote. 

The second will be interactive brand trivia ads, which will give advertisers the opportunity to connect with users by sharing facts and trivia about their brand or products, as well as giving them a direct link to purchase them on Amazon. 

It's hard to get enthused about these new additions to Prime Video, after all, it is more advertising being directly beamed into your living room. However, Prime Video isn't the only service to experiment with pause screen ads, as YouTube has also started showing users ads when they pause videos on the TV app. 


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Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.