Amazon Prime Video is the retail giant’s answer to Netflix and while it’s definitely giving Netflix a run for its money, there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
Recently, people have started questioning why they’re forced to sit through ads on Amazon Prime Video when it’s a service they’ve paid for.
In this post, we’ll go over why you’re getting ads in the middle of your shows and if there’s a way to disable them entirely.
Why am I Getting Commercials on Amazon Prime Video?
The reason why so many people see these ads in the middle at the start of every episode of a show they watch (and sometimes even in the middle of watching a title) is because of IMDB TV.
Trust us when we say you’re not alone if you’re being interrupted often by ads that take you out of whatever show or movie you watch.
Amazon Prime Video’s ads are especially annoying because these ads occur in between every episode.
So, why is this happening?
Well, to understand that first you need to understand what IMDB TV is.
What is IMDB TV?
You can think of IMDB TV as an additional service or “channel” that’s provided to you as part of your Amazon Prime Video membership.
Thus, when you’re browsing the Amazon Video app, not only will you have Amazon Prime Video’s catalog available to you but also the titles available on IMDB TV.
IMDB TV has many great AAA titles available on it such as Patriot Games, O Brother Where Art Thou, Taxi Driver, Oldboy, Sherlock Holmes, Rushmore, Life of Pi, Lawrence of Arabia, Charade, Whale Rider, His Gal Friday, Spotlight, and Memento.
That’s great, right? So, what’s the issue here?
Well, the issue is that you don’t get commercial-free streaming when you’re streaming an IMDB TV title on Amazon Prime. Furthermore, Amazon Prime gives no indication as to which titles belong to Amazon Prime’s catalog and which ones belong to IMDB TVs.
Thus, you could easily come across a title you like in the recommended videos section only to be assaulted with commercials because it was actually an IMDB TV title.
You can only find out if a title is an IMDB TV title if you use Amazon Prime Video on a web browser (which very few people do).
Is IMDB TV the Only One to Blame for Ads on the Amazon Prime Video App?
Sadly, no. While IMDB TV is definitely one of the larger culprits when it comes to Amazon Prime Video ads, the truth of the matter is that all of the titles from partner providers feature ads.
Only Prime originals are the ones that don’t blast ads in your face every time you’re trying to watch something.
If you try to watch a title that is not a Prime original and comes from a partner provider such as IMDB TV, Showtime, Starz, or Lifetime Movie Club, you’ll definitely be greeted with an ad.
Is There Any Way to Disable These Ads?
While there is a way to do so, we’ve found that this doesn’t really work most of the time when it comes to titles from partner providers even if you have a Prime membership.
You can update your ad preferences by going to the Manage Your Content section within your Amazon account and selecting your device.
Once you’re in this section, click on “Remove Offers”. If you’re unable to click on that option, it’s because you use the free service for Amazon Video and are not a Prime member.
In this case, you’ll have to pay for an Amazon Prime membership first.
If you already have a Prime account, you can just click on the option to select.
However, as we mentioned earlier, this doesn’t really work for titles that are not Prime originals. If you’re watching anything from a partner provider, you’re bound to see ads either in the middle of episodes or sometimes, even in the middle of the show or movie.
One good thing about these ads, however, is the fact that they’re only about titles that are already available to you as a Prime member.
Thus, they’re not trying to lead you onto some other streaming service or asking you to pay for some other subscription. They’re just leading you onto other titles that you may even like and are already available to you on Amazon Prime Video.
Is Amazon Prime Video the Only Paid Streaming Service with Ads?
It’s easy to get furious with these commercials on Amazon Prime if the only other streaming service you’ve used is Netflix.
That’s because Netflix is the only such service (at the moment) that’s profitable and huge enough to make do without ad revenue.
Whereas all other streaming platforms tend to use commercials and previews in order to gain much-needed revenue.
If you go to other streaming services that aren’t Netflix (for example, Hulu), you’ll find that they use ads as well.
Is Amazon Prime Video Really Worth the Money?
In case you pay $119 a year for a service that still gives you ads between shows and movies as if it were regular TV, is that really worth it?
While it may seem like it isn’t, the fact of the matter is that you get a lot of bang for your buck even if you have to sit through a few commercials from time to time.
Firstly, you have to take into account the fact that you’re not paying $119 per year just for Amazon Prime Video. You also get all of the benefits associated with Amazon Prime in general such as same-day delivery, release-date deliveries, a free Twitch subscription among many others.
So, when you take all of that into account, it really does put things into perspective and you can see that it is worth it.
But what if you’re paying for Amazon Prime mainly for the Video app?
Well, in that case, the commercials are definitely annoying, especially if you pay a hefty amount for the service. That being said, it can still be argued that the service is worth it because Amazon Prime’s collection is one of the best among streaming services.
It’s a host to several AAA titles along with its own Prime originals, a lot of which are worth watching.
Furthermore, Amazon has recently announced a deal with Universal Pictures according to which all of the titles released by Universal Pictures starting from 2022 will be available to stream on Prime as little as eight months after their release.
It should be noted that Amazon Prime is one of the streaming services to make a deal like this with a major motion picture company like Universal.
So yes, it’s definitely worth it despite the commercials.
Some Tips and Tricks to Get the Most out of Amazon Prime
Since we’ve spent the above section trying to convince you how Amazon Prime is still worth it despite its ads and previews, we decided to give you some tips to get the most out of it.
Yes, you can download episodes of TV shows as well as movies onto your phone using Amazon Prime.
It should be noted however that only selected titles can be downloaded due to different licensing rights.
You can download a title easily if you click on the title and select ‘download’. Amazon Prime even allows you to select the resolution of the title.
If you watch it on your phone, we recommend that you choose “Good” in the quality section as you won’t really be able to notice a difference on your phone and it will take up a lot less space.
Everyone knows you can tap subtitles on and off within Amazon Prime. However, did you know that you can customize the way they appear on your screen as well?
Turn on subtitles by going to the Menu, going to Subtitles and then, clicking On.
Within this same menu, you can click on Subtitles Settings to change the font size as well as the color scheme for the subtitles for better readability.
While watching a TV show or a movie, if you pause at any particular moment it will provide you with details about the actors currently on screen as well as the name of the song being played (if applicable).
You can also click on “View All” to see more information about what’s occurring on-screen.
All of the information displayed here is pulled directly from IMDB (Internet Movie Database).
Wrapping Things Up…
It’s a shame that people have to sit through ads for a service they pay for.
This is something you expect from a free service and with Amazon’s new deal with Universal as well as other partner providers, it doesn’t look like the ads are stopping anytime soon.
At this point, you just have to ask yourself if the ads are worth Amazon Prime’s extensive catalog of titles or not.
What’s your opinion on streaming services that show ads and previews before shows and movies? Let us know in the comments below.