Amazon Prime Subscribers Fight Back Against Ad Tier In Class Action Lawsuit

Source: CBS Evening News YouTube

Amazon has been hit with a class action lawsuit from Prime subscribers who claim that they were mislead when they were charged an additional fee to stream movies and TV shows without ads.

Amazon Hit With Lawsuit

Filed in California federal court on Friday, the proposed class action lawsuit “claims breach of contract and violations of state consumer protection laws on behalf of users who saw the terms of their subscriptions with Amazon change when it pivoted to making its ad tier the default for its over 100 million subscribers,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Amazon announced plans in December of last year to turn on ads for all Prime Video viewers, rolling this change out last month, immediately becoming the largest ad-supported subscription streamer.

Prime subscribers can pay an additional $2.99 per month to go back to viewing content without ads.

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Specifics Of Lawsuit

The issue at hand is that users who had previously signed up for annual subscriptions were impacted as well in an act that they claim was deceptive on Amazon’s part.

“For years, Amazon advertised that its Prime subscription included ad-free streaming of movies and tv shows,” the filing states, according to Forbes. “Like other consumers, Plaintiff purchased the Prime subscription, believing that it would include ad-free streaming of movies and tv shows. But it does not. Plaintiff brings this case for himself and for other Amazon Prime members.”

“Instead of receiving a subscription that included ad-free streaming of TV shows and movies, they received something worth less. They cannot enjoy ad-free streaming unless they pay an extra $2.99/month,” the suit states, according to The Wrap. “Thus, Amazon’s false advertisements harm consumers by depriving them of the reasonable expectations to which they are entitled. Subscribers must now pay extra to get something they already paid for.”

The class action suit is seeking at least $5 million as well as a court order that bans Amazon from engaging in further deceptive conduct on the behalf of users who subscribed to Prime before December 28, 2023.

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Amazon’s Goals

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy spoke out during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call to say that he believes that Prime Video would become a “large and profitable business” thanks to this add change. He went on to voice plans to continue investing in “compelling and exclusive content” such as “Thursday Night Football” and The Lord of The Rings.

“With the addition of ads on Prime Video, we’ll be able to continue investing meaningfully in content over time,” he added.

USA Today reported that Amazon Prime Video sent an email to customers at the end of December notifying them of an “upcoming change to your Prime Video experience” before introducing “limited advertisements” to allow the platform “to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time.”

“We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers,” the email continued. “No action is required from you, and there is no change to the current price of your Prime membership.”

Amazon has yet to comment publicly on this lawsuit.

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