Prime Video Now Reaches More Than 200 Million Monthly Viewers, TV Ads ‘Off to a Strong Start,’ Amazon CEO Says

Prime Video has a big audience, and now Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has put a new number on it: The premium video service has more than 200 million monthly viewers.

Jassy revealed the number in Amazon’s annual letter to shareholders Thursday. “Recently, we’ve expanded our streaming TV advertising by introducing ads into Prime Video shows and movies, where brands can reach over 200 million monthly viewers in our most popular entertainment offerings,” the CEO wrote, spanning movies, TV shows and live sports like the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football.”

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“Streaming TV advertising is growing quickly and off to a strong start,” he added.

On Jan. 29, Amazon began running ads in Prime Video content in major markets including the U.S. unless users opt to pay extra ($2.99/month in the U.S.) to have an ad-free experience. Some analysts have forecast Prime Video ads generating more than $3 billion in revenue in 2024.

Note that “viewers” is a different metric than subscribers (or accounts). For example, as of the end of 2023, Netflix counted 260.28 million total subscribers globally, meaning Netflix’s reach in terms of total number of viewers is even bigger than that.

In the letter, Jassy also reiterated that Amazon believes Prime Video — which started as a way to enhance the value of the Prime free-shipping program and to drive up ecommerce purchases — can be a lucrative standalone business.

“We have increasing conviction that Prime Video can be a large and profitable business on its own,” the CEO wrote. “This confidence is buoyed by the continued development of compelling, exclusive content (e.g. Thursday Night Football, Lord of the Rings, Reacher, The Boys, Citadel, Road House, etc.), Prime Video customers’ engagement with this content, growth in our marketplace programs (through our third-party Channels program, as well as the broad selection of shows and movies customers rent or buy), and the addition of advertising in Prime Video.”

Not mentioned by Jassy: In February, disgruntled Prime customers filed a lawsuit against Amazon accusing the tech giant of false advertising and deceptive practices over the change by Prime Video to serve ads by default. (Amazon has declined to comment on the suit, which seeks class-action status.)

Also in Jassy’s letter to shareholders, he touted the promise of generative AI, saying it “may be the largest technology transformation since the cloud (which itself, is still in the early stages), and perhaps since the internet… [T]his GenAI revolution will be built from the start on top of the cloud. The amount of societal and business benefit from the solutions that will be possible will astound us all.”

Amazon has invested $4 billion in AI start-up Anthropic for a minority stake in the company. Under the partnership, Anthropic is using Amazon’s custom chips to build, train and deploy its future models and has made a long-term commitment to provide AWS customers access “to future generations of its foundation models.”

“We’re building a substantial number of GenAI applications across every Amazon consumer business,” although “the vast majority will ultimately be built by other companies,” Jassy wrote in the letter. Amazon’s projects in this area include the AI-powered shopping assistant Rufus, an “even more intelligent and capable” Alexa and advertising capabilities to make it “simple with natural-language prompts to generate, customize and edit high-quality images, advertising copy and videos,” he wrote.

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