Amazon announced today it will increase the cost of its Prime service by $20, to $99 per year.
This should come as no surprise – Amazon has been offering the service at the same price of $79 since Prime launched, nine years ago, but in January the giant signaled its intention to finally hike the price, following a disappointing 2013 holidays quarter. At the time, Amazon warned it could increase the price of Prime by up to $40, so it could’ve been worse, if that’s any consolation.
Existing users of Amazon Prime will receive emails informing them about the change over the next days. Your current subscription will remain unchanged, but once it expires, you will need to pay $99 to renew it. Members of the Amazon Prime Student program will pay $49, while Prime Fresh membership remains unchanged at $299 a year.
Amazon Prime includes free two-day shipping of many items, unlimited video streaming on Prime Instant Video, and one free ebook borrowing per month. All things considered, Prime was a great service for $79, but it remains a great deal at $99 as well, especially if you regularly shop on Amazon or you’re a heavy media user.
In related news, Amazon is rumored to be working on a streaming music service that will be included in Prime. The company is currently in negotiations with labels, and it’s not clear if the addition of a music service will further increase the cost of Prime.