Amazon Prime has seen quite a few evolutions over the last few years, many of them positive. No-cost shipping has always been one of the big perks of the service, but their acquisition of Twitch has made them a big player in the eSports and game streaming realm, and many of their Amazon Prime original content, like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Man in the High Castle have been critical and commercial smash hits. They also purchased the rights to an upcoming Lord of the Rings television prequel series – a highly-sought property.
Their upcoming evolution probably won’t be as highly regarded.
Variety reports that, despite Amazon’s first quarter crushing expectations, they will be increasing the cost of a yearly Amazon Prime subscription in May 2018. The price will increase from the current $99 per year to $119 per year, an increase of over 20 percent.
Earlier this year, Amazon increased the monthly cost of an Amazon Prime membership from $9.99 per month to $11.99 per month. The increase of the yearly subscription matches that price hike.
Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky tells Variety that the price increase comes because of higher shipping costs and an increase in spending on original content: “It’s really nothing more than looking at the state of the program, and the high benefits it’s delivering. There are all kinds of new features we’ve continually added to the Prime program. It’s much different than it was in 2014.”
A price increase is never something to cheer about, but less than an extra two dollars a month for all the good things included in Amazon Prime seems like it is not a terrible option – especially if their Lord of the Rings series is any good. However, the cost of keeping many streaming options – Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, HBO, etc. – is starting to balloon. Wasn’t that the reason so many of us ditched cable in the first place?