With the explosion of streaming platforms, it’s not just about what to watch anymore; it’s about how you watch it. This week, Amazon Prime became the latest streaming service to re-introduce ads – from 2024, users will need to pay an additional fee for the original “ad-free” experience.
The “ad-free” subscription tier will be priced at an extra $2.99 (£2.44) per month in the US, with pricing for other countries announced at a later date.
We’ve broken down the offerings of some major streaming services in the UK, including Netflix, Sky, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus.
Whether you’re willing to pay a premium for an ad-free experience or are content with occasional interruptions for the sake of saving money, there’s a streaming service option to suit your preferences and budget.
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Netflix, one of the pioneers of the streaming industry, has always been known for its ad-free experience. However, in recent years, they have been experimenting with a more affordable ad-supported option. As of 2023, Netflix offers the following subscription tiers:
- Standard (with ads): £4.99 per month
- Basic (no ads): £6.99 per month *now discontinued
- Standard: £10.99 per month
- Premium: £15.99 per month
The ad-supported version includes occasional ads before and after episodes but maintains an ad-free experience during the content itself.
While Netflix Basic has been discontinued, legacy customers can continue their subscription at this price.
In 2022, Sky introduced an “Ad Skipping TV pack” that allows customers to skip ads – initially bundled for free with Sky Glass and Sky Stream as part of their “introductory offer”. From November onwards, all customers had the option to pay a fee if they wished to skip ads.
- Ad skipping: £5 per month
Earlier this week, Amazon announced that in early 2024 Amazon Prime Video will include ads unless users opt for the more expensive ad-free version:
- Amazon Prime Video: £8.99 per month (Prime membership)
- Amazon Prime Video (no ads): $2.99 (£2.44) additional per month (applicable to the US)
Although Amazon aims to “have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers”, it’s unclear how many ads there will be. Prices for UK customers will be announced at a later date – and we will keep you posted once that is available.
In August, Disney Plus announced the introduction of an ad-supported subscription tier for the UK – which will officially launch in November this year.
Here are the current costs for Disney+ in the UK:
- Disney+ (no ads): £7.99 per month
From 1 November 2023:
- Disney+ Standard (with ads): £4.99 per month
- Disney+ Standard: £7.99 per month
- Disney+ Premium: £10.99 per month
Apple TV+ is another streaming service loved by many, home to original TV shows and movies funded by Apple. As of 2023, Apple TV+ offers only an ad-free subscription option:
- Apple TV+ (no ads): £4.99 per month
Apple also offers a free three-month subscription to Apple TV+ with any purchase of an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac.