Amazon Prime gets monthly plans

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 18, 2016
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Amazon, Companies, Internet

Amazon Prime started out as a membership service for Amazon customers to save on shipping costs as Amazon would not charge Prime members for shipping.

The company expanded the service in recent years by adding new features to it. Amazon Prime grants you access to Amazon's movie and TV show offerings, music streaming, ebooks, and even provides customers with early access to lightning deals on top of that.

Amazon Prime customers paid a flat yearly fee up until now available for $99 in the US and often less in other countries Amazon operates in (Germany €49 per year which is $55, UK £79 per year which is $112).

Starting today, Amazon customers can select between different Prime memberships.

Amazon Prime US

amazon prime monthly

In the United States, Amazon Prime is now available in three different plans:

  1. Prime Video for $8.99 per month.
  2. Prime for $10.99 per month.
  3. Prime for $99 per year.

The annual price of Prime has not changed and it still grants access to all services and features. The new Prime Video on the other hand grants access to all TV shows and movies only that Amazon offers as part of its streaming service.

It is paid monthly instead of yearly, and so is the second new Prime service which offers all Prime functionality but the option to "save 25% with prepayment discount" which is a Prime annual exclusive.

In Germany, Amazon launched a monthly payment option for Prime Video as well but did not include an option to get all Prime services for a monthly fee on top of that.

Prime Video is available for €7.99 per month in Germany which is roughly $9.

If you analyze the new monthly options and compare them to the yearly plan, you will come to the following conclusions:

The yearly plan is the best choice if you plan to remain a subscriber of Amazon Prime for the whole year.

The monthly plans make sense if you just need a couple of month's access to Amazon, for instance to binge-watch new TV shows that have become available throughout the year using the service. If you want to watch streaming video in two of the twelve months for instance, you pay less than $18 for that instead of the $99 you'd pay for yearly access. Even if you double the months, you will spend only half the yearly fee on that.

The new plan may also attract customers who shy away from yearly commitments.

Amazon Prime Video is still more expensive than Netflix's basic plan which is available for $7.99. But that plan does not offer HD content, and if you compare it to the standard plan that is suggested to new Netflix customers by default, you will notice that it is $1 cheaper than that.

A likely reason for Amazon's move is to position Prime Video as a direct Netflix and Hulu competitor in the US, and to whichever service is popular in other countries the new monthly plan is being made available.

Now You: are you subscribed to Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime gets monthly plans
Article Name
Amazon Prime gets monthly plans
Amazon launched new monthly plans for its Prime subscription service that provide access to Prime Video content or other Prime features as well for a monthly fee.
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  1. Ron said on April 21, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    I was hesitant to sign up for Amazon Prime initially, because I wasn’t ordering enough online to justify the cost savings in shipping. But when I found out they include unlimited photo storage as part of the package, that sealed the deal for me. So far I’ve got 64GB of image files safely stored away. Now I go out of my way to look for stuff on Amazon first.

  2. Robert Headley said on April 19, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Amazon offered monthly subscriptions as a test a few years ago, and I signed up. I have been paying a monthly fee for years. Yes, $99 a year would be cheaper, but having $99 pulled out of my bank is inconvenient with my paycheck to paycheck income. I love seeing all the new features that they keep adding.

  3. Wayfarer said on April 19, 2016 at 12:53 am

    Wouldn’t touch Amazon Prime with a bargepole.

    I’d like to say I wouldn’t touch Amazon either – imho almost a criminal organisation (I live in the UK where they’ve made billions and paid almost zero taxes.) Unfortunately I live in a rural area where – if I ignored Amazon – I’d have almost no suppliers. Frankly I’m ashamed of myself (though I haven’t actually used Amazon in half a year.)

    I live in Scotland. A neighbouring local authority gave Amazon no end of financial and legal encouragement to set up a warehouse (sorry – ‘customer fulfilment centre’ – mealy-mouthed or what) where ‘associates’ (aka shit-on employees on ‘zero-hour’ contracts) are virtual wage-slaves. That authority now openly declares they now wish they’d had nothing to do with Amazon.

    If a competitor to Amazon arose tomorrow I’d leap at the chance.

  4. Alan said on April 18, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I have a Amazon Fire Stick ($39) that I use with my Amazon Prime. For $99.00 a year, it’s been a terrific deal. Books, movies, shipping, all kinds of fun stuff.

  5. Daniel Winter said on April 18, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    I love prime, I order a ton from amazon. Saves me a lot of car rides (and parking fees).

    1. Maelish said on April 18, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      We’re avid users of it too. It has saved a lot of money over the last few years. However, prime shipping has changed in the last month. The free 2-day shipping is now taking up to 4 days.

      1. Maelish said on April 18, 2016 at 3:05 pm

        Nice tip Jeff-FL, thanks. I’m sure there are some other readers who will appreciate that too.

      2. Jeff-FL said on April 18, 2016 at 2:58 pm

        If you call them and complain about that, they’ll credit your account, either with store credit, or by extending your Prime with a free month.

  6. Joe said on April 18, 2016 at 11:42 am

    No probs

  7. Joe said on April 18, 2016 at 11:29 am

    ‘Prime for $99 per month’- that should read,’Prime for $99 annually,’ which is equivalent to $8.25 per month as advertised.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 18, 2016 at 11:34 am

      Right, thanks Joe ;)

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