When you sit down to watch Mr. Robot on Amazon Prime, does it matter if the 30- or 60-second message you have to watch first is an ad or an Amazon Prime Video promo?
One Amazon Prime user sat down to watch Band of Brothers the other night and found no way to avoid a promo for another one of Amazon's ever-growing collection of acquired and original programs. "There was no skip button I could find or a timeline to advance."
In a discussion on Reddit, the user shared what he said was a response from Amazon to his complaint, the company saying, "Amazon provides these video snippets to share information about the benefits associated with your Prime membership, such as news about a new Amazon Original series, or details about devices that support Prime Video."
But another Amazon Prime member said he was assured in a live chat with an Amazon customer service representative that pre-roll promos on Amazon Prime were "an error" and would not be happening again.
Back in February, Amazon launched a 10-episode fashion reality show, The Fashion Fund, which was ad-supported and available to anyone with or without a Prime membership. "We're always experimenting on behalf of our customers, including experimenting with ads," the company told Recode, adding that "Prime Video will remain ad-free."
But "ad-free" doesn't mean you won't have to sit through something before you get your binge on. HBO has added promos for HBO shows on its HBO Go and other VOD services, and last year, Netflix experimented with pre-roll promos, telling customers "some members in a limited test now are seeing teases before a show begins. We test hundreds of potential improvements to the service every year. Many never extend beyond that."
Amazon did not respond to Adweek's request for comment.