What happened to our ad-free TV?

Ads are here, there — almost everywhere — on streaming services now


Not long ago, streaming TV came with a promise: Sign up, and commercials will be a thing of the past.

Netflix rose to streaming dominance in part by luring customers to an ad-free experience. Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and HBO Max followed that lead.

Well, that did not last long.

Ads are getting increasingly hard to avoid on streaming services. One by one, Netflix, Disney+, Peacock, Paramount+ and Max have added 30- and 60-second commercials in exchange for a slightly lower subscription price. Amazon has turned ads on by default. And the live sports on those services include built-in commercial breaks no matter what price you pay.

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