There is some good news for those that pay annually and that is the $99 annual subscription hasn’t increased, in fact it now looks better value than ever for those that can afford to pay up front as the new monthly fees will set you back $155.88 annually – that’s more than 50% more expensive than making a single annual payment.
Amazon have also hiked the student monthly rate from $5.49 to $6.49 per month.
There have been reports that Amazon Prime membership sign ups have slowed in the States – not surprising as once you’ve signed everyone up who’s likely to subscribe there’s no where else to go and so the only way you can then increase revenues is to increase the price. All those two dollars a month will add up, Daniel Ives of research firm GBH Insights estimates that there are 88 million Prime members.
In some ways this is a surprising move as Amazon Prime customers spend around a third more than non-Prime customers. It seems counter-intuitive to increase the cost of the service which drives your sales, but as Amazon point out they are constantly adding new services to Prime and someone’s got to pay for it.
“Prime provides an unparalleled combination of shipping, shopping and entertainment benefits, and we continue to invest in making Prime even more valuable for our members. The number of items eligible for unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping increased in recent years from 20 million to more than 100 million items. We have expanded Prime Free Same-Day and Prime Free One-Day delivery to more than 8,000 cities and towns. We also continue to introduce new, popular and award-winning Prime Originals, like The Grand Tour, Sneaky Pete, and the Golden Globe-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – all included with Prime Video. Members also enjoy a growing list of unique benefits like Prime Music, Prime Reading, exclusive products and much more. We will keep introducing new ways to make members’ lives even better.”
– Amazon Spokesperson
The rather depressing side of this price rise is that it’s most likely to affect the poorest Americans the most. Those that would struggle to pay $99 in a lump sum will end up paying a hell of a lot more than those who can afford to pay up front. Our advice would be to cancel your Prime Subscription and simply sign up again in the months you want to do a lot of shopping – perhaps in the run up to Christmas and then cancel your subscription again when you don’t need it.