Amazon Prime leaps to $99 per year in April, $49 for Amazon Student
Announced by Amazon today, the price of Amazon Prime’s yearly member ship fee will rise by 25% from $79 per year up to $99 per year. In addition, the price of Amazon Student is increasing from $39 per year to $49 per year. These pricing changes will go into effect on April 17, 2014. Anyone who wants to renew their membership before that date will still be able to take advantage of the $79 rate.
It’s likely that the pricing increase has something to do with the rollout of Amazon’s rumored music streaming service (similar to Spotify, Pandora) as well as the rising costs of content, both licensed and original, on Amazon Instant Video. At the moment, perks included for Prime members include free 2-day shipping on all items, a discounted rate of $3.99 for one-day or same day shipping, unlimited access to streaming video content on Amazon Instant Video and one free book per month from the Kindle Lending Library.
Amazon is also rumored to release a new set-top box this month that provides access to Amazon Instant Video as well as third party streaming video applications like Netflix and Hulu Plus. This set-top box will be targeted at people who have already heavily invested in Amazon’s ecosystem of products and content. It will also directly compete with products like the Roku 3 and Google Chromecast.
While Amazon’s first season of original content fell particularly flat with the release of John Goodman’s Alpha House, the next round of original content looks significantly more promising. Specifically, the pilot for Michael Connelly’s Bosch, starring Titus Welliver, has been praised by critics and fans. Chris Carter’s The After also got a green light, despite a poor response from the critic community.
Last year, we posed the question: “Is Amazon Prime worth $79 a Year?” While the answer was a resounding yes, we will review our thoughts after the price change to offer up a new opinion on the changed price.