Streaming costs rise. Monthly Amazon Prime subscription cost to increase to £8.99 per month, as delivery and labour costs rise
The cost of Amazon’s Prime service for UK subscribers will rise in September, as the e-commerce giant passes on its increased delivery costs to customers.
Currently Amazon Prime costs £7.99 per month or £79 for a year’s subscription. But from 15 September this will rise 12.5 percent (£1) to £8.99 per month. The annual membership will rise 20 percent (or £16) to £95 per annum, from that date.
So a money-saving tip for UK consumers is to apply for an annual membership before 15 September, to take advantage of the lower price.
Amazon Prime was launched all the way back in 2005 in the United States, and memebership gives users access to unlimited deliveries for online shopping, and Amazon Fresh grocery deliveries.
However many people now use their Amazon Prime membership to access access to its video and music streaming services.
Indeed, half of all UK consumers (roughly 27 million people) are thought to have access to Prime, as the service rapidly expanded during the pandemic, when high-street retailers were forced to close for long periods.
Last year Amazon confirmed it had more than 200 million paid Prime subscribers worldwide, up 50 million more than it had at the start of 2020, before Covid-19 took hold of the world.
At the same time in 2021 the firm confirmed that streaming hours on Prime Video were up more than 70 percent year-over-year, in another confirmation of its growth during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The company meanwhile has said the price rise for Amazon Prime is the first price hike since 2014, and comes after a series of improvements in its Prime service.
“We have increased the number of products available with fast unlimited Prime delivery, recently added ultra-fast fresh grocery delivery, and have significantly expanded our high-quality digital entertainment, including TV, movies, music, games, and books,” a spokesperson told the Guardian newspaper.
The spokesperson added that Prime Video had tripled the amount of original Amazon content since 2018, with series including The Boys and The Terminal List, and UK-produced shows such as Clarkson’s Farm and Backstage With Katherine Ryan.
It should be remembered that Amazon also purchased veteran film studio MGM in May 2021 for $8.45 billion, gaining access to all its films produced during a century of film making.
Indeed, that MGM acquisition gave Amazon access to over 4,000 film titles including the James Bond franchise, and other notable titles such as 12 Angry Men, Basic Instinct, Creed, Moonstruck, Poltergeist, Raging Bull, Robocop, Rocky, Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, Thelma & Louise, Tomb Raider, The Magnificent Seven, The Pink Panther, The Thomas Crown Affair, and many others.
And Amazon Video Prime’s catalogue has potentially been swelled by MGM’s portfolio of 17,000 TV shows, including thousands of fan favourites such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Fargo, and Vikings.
Amazon Prime has also added access to Premier League football and Autumn Nations rugby in the UK.
And then of course Amazon Prime is set to launch highly anticipated The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series in September.
The price increase for UK Amazon Prime users is not unexpected, after the annual US Prime membership fee rose in February this year from $119 to $139, due to higher labour and shipping costs.
And Amazon in April this year passed its rising costs onto third-party sellers that utilise the Amazon fulfilment services.
Amazon reportedly added a 5 percent “fuel and inflation surcharge” to the fees it charges third-party sellers who use its fulfilment services.
Rival streaming service providers have also increased their prices, despite evidence of waning interest in streaming services as households look for ways to reduce costs and find alternative entertainment now that the pandemic restrictions have ended.
In March, Netflix said it would increase the cost of its basic and standard plans by £1 a month to £6.99 and £10.99 respectively, while the premium tier would go up by £2 to £15.99.
Apple Music has also increased the cost of its student plan by £1 to £5.99, while the cost of Disney+ has risen by £2 a month to £7.99.