AMAZON is jacking up the price of Prime membership in the U.S., and experts say that United Kingdom customers face a similar hike soon.
It also means that the gap has widened between monthly and annual subscribers. It also comes only two years after Amazon introduced the monthly payment plan - designed for those who didn't want to pay the $99 for a yearly one.
Amazon told The Sun that this is a US-only price rise for now - and wouldn't comment on future plans - but experts say Brits are "likely" to suffer the same fate very soon.
If you're paying for Amazon Prime month-to-month the cost just went up US$2. The analyst added he believes Amazon's decision is a "smart and strategic move" that will "drive monthly Prime members to yearly subscriptions" as the company seeks to significantly up its content spend.
Amazon has always been cagey about sharing exact Prime subscribers figures, but have pegged the service as having about 90 million members in the USA alone.
"Chances are we will see a similar price rise in the UK", GfK analyst Imran Choudhary told The Sun.
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But it also usually emphasized that bad actors made up a small percentage of activity and that, overall, the company was doing something good for society.
The BAML analyst said that if the higher monthly price affects only domestic subscribers, then about 10 million members may be affected, which could bring in nearly $240 million in incremental revenue annually. Most Prime members sign up for one year of Prime, which costs $99 per year, and that cost is not changing.
Like the yearly cost of a Prime membership, the monthly price of a Prime Video membership ($8.99) will not go up with the latest monthly price increase at Amazon.
Amazon said it has invested in making Prime more valuable to its members, making more items eligible for Prime shipping and increasing the video offerings.
An Amazon Prime subscription gets you free shipping on most of what the site sells.
He also believes that Prime adds accelerated a year ago because subscription revenues accelerated. He also warned that the price increase could make it more hard for Amazon to attract new shoppers from the lower income brackets because they may not be able to commit to larger annual fees.
We will keep you posted on how Amazon Prime members react to this news.