There are things we can live without, but you could argue that it’s tough living without Amazon Prime. Perhaps that’s why the company announced today that it would be increasing the cost of its Prime membership from $119 a year to $139 starting on February 18 for new customers and March 25 for existing members. At the same time, the monthly subscription will increase from $12.99 to $14.99.
Many of you might be wondering why Amazon’s increasing the price, especially when the retail and e-commerce giant exceeded Wall Street’s expectations with its latest Q4 report by posting a net profit of $14.3 billion. That figure is nearly double the amount from the same period in 2020, so there’s reason to be suspicious about the increase in Prime membership. Right?
We don’t think so. You don’t have to be happy about the price increase, the first in several years, but it’s not a cause for alarm either.
Amazon attributed the increase to the “expanded Prime membership benefits” customers have been given, like more Prime Video content, more free same-day shipping on products, and to factor in the continued cost of labor and transportation. And given that inflation is a very serious concern right now (we’ve already seen rising costs with food, gasoline, and many other goods), this shouldn’t come as a shock. It’s also worth pointing out that this is only the fourth time in its history that Amazon increased the cost of Prime membership.
Why Amazon Prime Is Still Worth It
When you look at the $14.99 per month cost that new customers will be paying for Prime membership, it still holds significant value over some of its rivals. Sure, there are other popular subscription services that people happily pay for, like Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max, but Amazon Prime is the only one to go beyond just video content.
In fact, free one-day shipping was once isolated to big cities when it was rolled out, but now its efficient logistics has allowed it to expand into more places. There’s also an ad-free music service packaged in with your Prime membership, which again isn’t something offered by some of its streaming competitors. And don’t get us started with some of its other benefits, such as Amazon Photos to store and backup your most precious memories.
Amazon is meeting a lot of different needs right now. They’re like a neighborhood general store you can turn to for all your random everyday needs, except their wares include everything from designer lingerie to gardening tools. They’re also filling the role once filled by your local bookstore, your friendly neighborhood Blockbuster (RIP), your pet shop, clothing store and grocery store.
Despite the increase, Amazon Prime will continue to be one of the most valuable subscriptions services out there.
And, let’s be honest, when you consider the incredible size, success and popularity of Amazon, they can pretty much do whatever they want.