Amazon Prime has raised their monthly rates. On Friday, those who subscribe to the service on a month to month basis saw an increase of almost 20 percent, up to $12.99 from $10.99. Those with the monthly student membership saw a similar percentage increase, up to $6.49 from $5.49.
Those who pay for a yearly Prime subscription were unaffected. A yearly subscription saves money over time, and will still run you $99.
The main benefits utilized by Amazon Prime members are free shipping on thousands of items through Amazon’s store and their Amazon Prime Streaming Video service, which is the only way to watch Amazon originals like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Transparent, and Catastrophe. Those who subscribe to Prime Video only will not see a price increase. Other benefits of Amazon Prime include Prime Music, Twitch Prime, Amazon photo storage, the Kindle Owners Lending Library, and many others.
Amazon has been mum about just how many people subscribe to Amazon Prime, but Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) estimated in October of 2017 that there were 90 million Amazon Prime members. CIRP also estimated that approximately 19 percent of those members paid for a monthly membership instead of yearly. If every one of those members subscribes monthly for an entire year, this rate increase will mean over $34 million more in Amazon’s pockets.
The last time Amazon increased the price of Prime memberships, they increased the yearly membership from $79 to $99. That increase occurred in 2014, before there was quite as much competition in the streaming market and before many of their membership benefits were added.
By increasing their monthly membership costs, Amazon is trying to drive customers to the yearly membership so that they stay members for a longer period of time. The same CIRP study shows that Amazon Prime members spend about $1300 on Amazon products every year, as opposed to $700 by non-Prime members.
That free immediate shipping just can’t be beaten, huh?