Amazon is now offering its annual Prime subscription on a monthly basis, and is now offering its Prime Video perk as a standalone service.
The Seattle-based online retailer notified website visitors of the change on Sunday night, the New York Times reports.
Details of the new subscription options are also now available on the main Amazon Prime web page. (Click on the “See more plans” box.)
Until now, Amazon Prime has been offered only as an annual subscription of $99 (with a 50-percent-off discount available for students).
The new monthly Prime subscription costs $10.99 per month. That makes it the more expensive option — amounting to $131.88 per year — but is expected to appeal to customers who prefer to join on a short-term basis.
The New York Times explains:
Amazon Prime, by most accounts, has been a huge success for the company, but one of the biggest hurdles for anyone thinking about joining the service is that it has required customers to pay $99 up front for an annual membership. The new options do away with the need for an annual commitment to Prime, widening its appeal …
Prime is essentially a package of perks that perhaps most notably includes free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase requirement. (For everyone else, Amazon recently increased that minimum to $49.)
Whether you opt for the annual or monthly option, Prime subscriptions include free access to:
- Two-day shipping
- Prime Video (unlimited movies and TV shows, including HD, ultra HD and HDR when available)
- Unlimited music streaming
- More than 1 million e-books
- Early access to Lightning Deals
- Same-day delivery in eligible areas
One Prime perk is also now available on its own for the first time. Amazon is offering Prime Video for $8.99 per month, which amounts to $107.88 per year. So it’s still more expensive than an annual Prime subscription, but might appeal to customers who prefer not to commit to a year-long subscription.
The standalone Prime Video option also makes it easier to compare Amazon’s video service with those of competitors like Netflix and Hulu, both of which offer monthly subscriptions.
Amazon’s move to make Prime Video available as its own subscription also comes as longtime Netflix customers are about to experience a price hike from $7.99 to $9.99 per month.
If you’re interested in Amazon Prime, a free 30-day trial is still available here. (Click on the yellow “Start your 30-Day Prime free trial” button).
Students qualify for a six-month free trial.
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