Amazon Hasn’t Actually Axed Its Standalone Prime Video Plan

The rumors of the plan’s demise appear to have been somewhat exaggerated
Amazon Prime Video logo hero Credit: BoliviaInteligente
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Update: The report that Amazon’s standalone Prime Video Plan was discontinued was incorrect. Amazon contacted us following the publication of this article to let us know that the plan can still be found during the normal sign-up process. Its disappearance at press time last week was presumably the result of a technical glitch that has since been resolved.

The original unedited version of the article we published on April 18, 2024, remains below.

Amazon has recently made some significant and controversial changes to its Prime Video pricing. Now, it looks like its most affordable standalone plan is the latest casualty of its attempts to push folks onto higher tiers.

In January, Amazon followed other streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ in bringing ads to Prime Video, but it did so in a way that was a bit hostile to its most loyal customers.

First, while just about every other streaming service added a new ad-supported tier at a lower price and left its existing customers alone, Amazon chose to turn on ads for everyone, requiring customers to pay $3/month more if they wanted to enjoy the same ad-free viewing experience they had before January 29.

Then, adding insult to injury, Amazon removed Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos sound from its ad-supported tier. In other words, all of Amazon’s existing Prime Video customers gained ads and lost high-quality audio and video unless they paid an extra $3 per month.

While nearly every streaming service has been raising prices over the past year or so, this felt like a tactical error on Amazon’s part. The company would have been better off just announcing a price hike for its standard plan and then creating a new, lower-priced “with ads” plan — even if it did both at the same time.

Now, it’s quietly taking away another low-priced option for folks who only want to enjoy Prime Video. For years, Amazon offered a standalone Prime Video plan for $8.99 monthly. It launched in 2016 to undercut rivals like Netflix, although it became less prominently advertised as the years went on.

Eventually, Amazon buried it behind a “See more plans” or “Explore other plans” section on the Prime sign-up page. Nevertheless, it remained available if you went looking for it and wasn’t a bad way to catch your fix of Fallout if you had no use for the other benefits of a full Prime membership. It also managed to survive nearly a decade without a single price increase.

Unfortunately, it appears that the standalone plan is no more. As reported by Cord Busters and Engadget, the standalone Amazon Prime plan has vanished from Amazon’s sign-up pages in the US and UK (and I’ve confirmed that it’s gone in Canada, too).

Since Amazon hasn’t made any official statement on the matter, it’s not clear how existing subscribers will be affected. For now, existing subscribers appear to be able to remain on that plan, but if they upgrade to a full Prime membership, they won’t be able to go back.

In all fairness, the standalone Prime Video plan was probably not a popular option to begin with, especially since Amazon didn’t go out of its way to encourage customers to sign up for it. A full Amazon Prime membership offers enough benefits that many folks likely consider Amazon Prime a bonus. However, it was still a nice option for those who had no need for free shipping and other online services like Amazon Music and Photos.

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