Amazon Prime Video has decided not to include Dolby Vision and Atmos support in its ad-supported plan


On January 29th, Amazon initiated the introduction of advertisements within the viewing experience of Prime Video subscribers. This change was previously announced by the company, informing customers that “limited advertisements” would be displayed alongside movies and shows to facilitate investments in content creation and continued growth over time. For those who prefer an ad-free experience, an additional fee of $3 per month is required.

However, what was not explicitly disclosed is that subscribers opting for the ad-supported tier would lose access to Dolby features. This alteration was first noticed by German tech publication 4kfilme and later confirmed by Forbes.

Forbes conducted a test by streaming an episode of Jack Ryan, encoded with Dolby Vision HDR video and Dolby Atmos sound, on a television compatible with these technologies. They observed that the indicators confirming the activation of Dolby Vision and Atmos were absent when using an ad-supported account, whereas they appeared as usual on ad-free accounts.

Consequently, customers seeking to retain access to Dolby Vision and Atmos-enabled content without interruptions from commercials are required to subscribe to the ad-free tier by paying the additional $3 per month. Notably, Forbes also noted that ad-free accounts still retain access to HDR10+, a technology comparable to Dolby Vision.

As expected, subscribers have expressed dissatisfaction with this change, prompting the filing of a proposed class action lawsuit against Amazon in California federal court. The complaint accuses Amazon of violating consumer protection laws and labels the alteration of terms as “deceptive” and “unfair.” It argues that subscribers who have already paid for annual Prime subscriptions expected an uninterrupted viewing experience, as promised by Amazon. However, they are now affected by this change, depriving them of their reasonable expectations. The class action seeks damages of at least $5 million and requests an injunction to prevent Amazon from engaging in deceptive practices.