Amazon Hurts A Certain Type Of Subscriber With Its New Prime Subscription Price
Stephan Jukic – January 19, 2018
Getting an Amazon Prime membership on a once-yearly payment basis is easy. You pay your one year’s fee of $99 and you’re good to go until exactly one year after your subscription date. Better still, that $99 price has been the same since March of 2014 and will continue to stay the same for now. This is the case despite the fact that Amazon offerings on its Primer service have relentlessly expanded and now include a very nice roster of ultra HD 4K HDR content. Numerous other streaming media offerings and of course, all those cool extras like one-hour delivery via Prime Now and even Prime photo storage services. In essence, the $99 yearly payment package is a good deal overall for those who don’t mind forking over the money all at once.
When it comes to monthly subscribers however, things have now changed for the worse and for some users, this might be problematic. Since it first emerged in April of 2016, the monthly payment subscription option for Amazon Prime has always amounted to a yearly total that’s a fair bit more expensive than the single static $99 yearly fee. For a long time however, it remained fixed at $10.99 per month for an annual total of $131.88. In other words, for the economizing option of paying their Prime bill in monthly little pieces, consumers who chose this option were forking over a premium of $32 per year as part of the “bargain”. Not insanely expensive, but also not so much of a great deal any more.
Now, as of today, January 19th, 2018, Amazon has made things just a bit worse for these same monthly subscribers. Now a monthly Prime membership is going to start costing $12.99, for a yearly total of $155.88. This means that as of now, as a monthly subscriber you’re going to be paying a whopping premium of 57% over the regular $99 fee just so you don’t have to cover the whole year’s expense at once.
There is also a student pricing model which costs an Amazon-subsidized $5.99 per month which will now also increase by a bit to $6.99 monthly. For new subscribers, the above increses go into effect immediately, for existing subscribers, they will start applying with the first monthly renewal payments after February 18th, 2018.
This is now very definitely not such a good deal at all. These customers who pay that 57% extra and who previously paid $32 more per year even under the more generous monthly pricing plan are getting the exact same service as yearly subscribers of Prime. There is no difference between the services offered by the two different subscription packages. It doesn’t even cost Amazon any real additional expense to handle monthly payments, yet there it is, another $56.88 dollars you’ll be forking over for the privilege of being allowed to go monthly.
Despite these additional costs, monthly Prime payments were popular right from day one. Some 31% of Prime members use this option and households earning less than $50,000 per year seem to favor paying monthly most of all, as reporting by this website has shown. The reason for this is obvious; it’s easier to absorb a cost when it’s spread out over months, even if it’s higher on the whole. Amazon is perhaps taking advantage of this monthly subscriber logic to an absurd degree with their huge 57% premium for the month-by-month option.