Amazon has announced that it is increasing its Prime membership subscription prices in the United States. The company hasn’t said whether the Prime price change will apply in other countries.
The fee for a Prime subscription will increase for the first time in four years, rising to $15 per month (up from $13), or $139 per year (up from $119). The 17% price hike will go into effect for new customers starting February 18, 2022, while current members will see their plans go up after March 25, 2022.
Amazon says the increase is needed to pay for the “continued expansion” of its Prime perks, as well as paying for higher employee salaries and rising shipping costs.
An Amazon Prime subscription includes “free” one-day and two-day shipping on purchases made on Amazon, along with access to Prime Video, Prime Music, and other Amazon digital platforms and services.
As pointed out by Engadget, Amazon is certainly spending money to improve its Prime Video services, as the upcoming first season of the new “The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power” series reportedly is expected to cost $465 million. Amazon last year also acquired Hollywood studio MGM, paying $8.5 billion.
Amazon also announced its Q4 2021 earnings results. The online retail giant’s net profit jumped nearly 57% in 2021 to $33.4 billion, thanks to the lingering global health crisis.