Friday, July 12, 2024

If you had anticipated watching the final season of “Jack Ryan” or the eight seasons of “House” on Amazon Prime without commercials next year, be prepared to spend a little more money.

In September, Amazon revealed it would soon introduce advertisements to its streaming service, Prime Video, and this week announced that the change will become effective on Jan 29. Customers who wish to avoid the ads would need to pay an additional $2.99 a month.

At the start of the streaming era, it promised users the ability to cut the cord from expensive cable bills and experience an ad-free viewing experience. However, nearing 2024, Amazon is not the only service reintroducing ads or raising prices.

Studios and streaming companies justifying that attracting new customers has become increasingly difficult are resulting in higher prices, or cheaper plans that include ads.

To help inform your decision for the new year, here is what some of the primary streaming services will cost and offer. (All prices are in U.S. dollars and apply to U.S. accounts.)

Amazon executives have expressed that offering the video service has helped retain subscribers to Prime memberships, which include free shipping.

In 2022, the company finalized its acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and its extensive catalog of movies and television shows, including titles like James Bond, available on Prime Video.

The current price for an Amazon Prime membership is $14.99 a month (or $139 per year). Prime Video by itself is $8.99 a month. For ad-free viewing, Amazon will add $2.99 per month to your bill starting Jan. 29. If you enroll in a free trial, Amazon will automatically begin charging you when it ends.

In 2019, Apple announced that it would start creating its own television shows and movies at an extremely star-studded event in California. The streaming service offers Apple originals such as “Severance” and “Ted Lasso,” and a subscription can be shared with up to five people.

The monthly subscription for the streaming service costs $9.99, and Apple also offers three free months when you purchase one of their devices.

For $7.99 a month, subscribers get content with ads. For $13.99 a month (or $139.99 a year), you can stream Disney+ without ads and download content for offline viewing.

Its offerings include Pixar and Disney movies as well as “Star Wars” and Marvel movies and TV shows, 34 seasons of “The Simpsons,” and about 7,500 episodes of old Disney shows.

Warner Bros. Discovery introduced this combined streaming service in April, rebranding the former HBO Max. An ad-free experience will cost $15.99 a month. The “Ultimate ad-free” version for $19.99 allows users to add more devices to the account as well as up to 100 downloads. For a $9.99 add-on per month, you can also watch live sports.

Max offers the “Harry Potter” movies, classic HBO shows such as “The Wire,” “The Sopranos,” and “Sex and the City,” as well as newer releases, such as “Barbie.” The streamer has also ordered a “Harry Potter” TV series.

The premium subscription for NBC Universal’s streaming service will cost you $5.99 a month and includes original content, films, live sporting events, and more. A Premium Plus subscription is priced at $11.99 a month and offers mostly ad-free viewing, as well as the ability to download content.

Some of the programs you can watch include “Parks and Recreation,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Downton Abbey,” and “Everybody Loves Raymond,” as well as Bravo content like the “Real Housewives” franchise.

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