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Amazon Prime is the company's premium subscription service. When it first began, it only offered free two-day shipping on a limited number of items. It has since grown significantly, now offering a variety of services including books, movies, free shipping, and more. In 2014, a price increase from $79 to $99 per year prompted this gradual expansion of services. The annual fee increased by $20 to $119 in May 2018. "Is Amazon Prime worth it?" many people began to wonder.
It's a challenging question. The value of Amazon Prime is determined by how many goods you order and how much you utilise the company's other services. In this piece, we'll look at all Amazon Prime has to offer in 2021 to see if it's truly worth it.
Yearly vs. monthly prices
Customers can join up for Amazon Prime on a monthly basis. The monthly subscription option currently costs $12.99 per month, or $156 for the year. Clearly, if you truly believe the answer to the question "Is Amazon Prime Worth It?" is "Yes," paying the $119 annual amount up front is your best bet.
For $8.99 a month, you can subscribe to Amazon Prime Video, which provides you access to all of the company's streaming movies and TV episodes. If you remain with this month-to-month plan, you'll spend roughly $108 per year, so if you just want Amazon Prime Video and nothing else, you'll save $10 per year if you acquire it instead of the $119 annual charge for the complete Amazon Prime experience.
The free two-day shipping is, of course, the main benefit of Amazon Prime. That benefit is useful, especially if you have a hard time organising a week ahead of time.
When this was still Amazon Prime's main feature, determining if the subscription was worthwhile was a simple math problem. Paying for two-day delivery outright cost $3.99, so if you only place 30 Amazon Prime-eligible items each year, you might as well cancel your subscription.
Since the launch of Prime, Amazon has expanded the number of options to acquire free shipping without having a Prime membership. If your cart contains all eligible goods and totals more than $25, you will receive free shipping. However, it is possible that the things will not be delivered to you within two days.
While free shipping is feasible without Prime, Amazon has been sweetening the shipping benefits for subscribers. Prime members can now get one-day delivery on ten million products for no additional cost. If your order is over $35 in some cities, you can get free same-day shipping on three million items. In some cities, you can obtain free two-hour grocery delivery. Finally, if you live near a Whole Foods market, you may order online and pick up your order in under an hour if you're a Prime member.
Whether Amazon Prime is worth paying merely for the shipping benefits is a matter of how frequently you shop. It might not be worth it if you only shop online once in a while. This is made extra evident by Amazon's holiday free shipping for non-Prime members.
However, Amazon Prime membership features, aside from delivery discounts, make matters more confusing.
Video streaming services
For a while, all eyes were on Netflix and Hulu as they attempted to become a superior choice. Amazon's streaming video service was launched with minimal fanfare. It didn't offer much original or exclusive content at start.
Amazon Prime Video's reach has grown significantly since then. It has produced a number of critically praised original shows, including The Boys, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and others. It also grants early access to Amazon Studios' increasing library of original films, which come a few weeks after their theatre runs have concluded. The entire video content catalogue, though, isn't quite as strong as Netflix's. The programme still has clumsy navigation, but everything about Amazon Prime Video has improved dramatically in the last couple of years.
Special "Channels" are available on Amazon Prime Video. They've bundled numerous other third-party streaming services into Amazon Video, allowing you to watch and manage subscriptions all in one place. All media content streamed this way is compatible with Amazon's "X-Ray" feature, which allows you to check out IMDb details about what you're watching without having to open another window.
Amazon Prime Video's future looks bright as well, with several major original programmes in the works. The most important is a potential TV show based on J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy universe Lord of the Rings.
While Amazon's original programming on Prime Video can't compete with what's available on Netflix or Hulu, it's evident that the firm is investing heavily in developing new shows that could be the next Game of Thrones or Walking Dead.
Music streaming services
There are numerous memberships to select from in the epic fight of music streaming services—Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, and, more recently, YouTube Music.
Prime Music appears to be trying to join in on the action, but it's still a long shot. Sure, there are two million songs available for immediate streaming, but Spotify has a collection of over 60 million songs. YouTube Music has about 35 million subscribers, whereas Apple Music has over 50 million. Bringing a toothpick to a gunfight is not the same as bringing a knife to a gunfight.
The Amazon Prime Music library is also on the move, so it doesn't appear to be the ideal option for someone looking for a well curated collection of hundreds of hand-crafted playlists. To attract true music fans, the service would need to expand and change significantly, but as an added service that you're already paying for, it's not awful at all. It could actually work for the casual music listener who would rather listen to the radio than anything else.
There's also Amazon Music Unlimited, which has tens of millions of songs, no advertisements, the ability to download songs for offline listening, and the ability to listen via voice controls if you own an Echo smart speaker. Amazon Music Unlimited is available to anyone for $9.99 per month (with a 30-day free trial). Even so, if you already have Amazon Prime, you can buy Amazon Music Unlimited for $7.99 per month, saving $24 if you join up for a year.
Kindle and Audible perks
Amazon Prime has a lot of advantages for bookworms. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can use the free Amazon Kindle app on your smartphone to access these.
Prime Reading is available to Prime members. Over a thousand eBooks, popular magazines, comics, books with Audible narration, and more are available for free.
Users of Amazon Prime also get access to Amazon First Reads, which is another way to receive free books. Amazon publishes a selection of eBooks every month. Prime members can download a digital copy for free from this list.
You may be surprised to learn that Amazon also owns Twitch, a streaming video site geared at content creators. Twitch began as a gaming-focused site, with creators live-streaming "Let's Play" video, but it has now grown to include a wide range of content from creators. When you join up for Amazon Prime, you will also be enrolled in Twitch Prime. You may get free games every month as a member, as well as free DLC for titles like PUBG, League of Legends, Warframe, and others.
Even better, with your Amazon/Twitch Prime membership, you can get a free premium subscription package from one Twitch video creator. You may show your support for your favourite Twitch streamer and gain access to their premium content and benefits without spending any money. Normally, the credit is worth $4.99 per month.
Amazon Prime Day
Amazon hosts a unique shopping event for Prime members every year. Paid Amazon Prime members, as well as those on the 30-day free trial, can save a tonne of money on millions of retail products and services during Amazon Prime Day. The Amazon Prime Day of 2021 was held in June. We'll have to wait until 2022 to find out when the next version will take place.
Is Amazon Prime worth it – Odds and ends
Prime Members also enjoy a few more bonuses that add to the value of the programme for some. Prime Photos is an unlimited cloud storage service that no one uses because Google Photos offers a superior free alternative. You can also access Lightning Deals thirty minutes before non-Prime members with Prime Early Access. Two adults who live at the same address can form a "Amazon Household" to enjoy certain perks.
Finally, if you live near a Whole Foods food shop, you can save an additional 10% on specific items. While Foods also offers exclusive deals and discounts to Prime members. For Prime members, several Whole Foods locations provide two-hour delivery of your online shopping order to your home.
Netflix offers access to the service on one streaming device at a time for as little as $8 per month in non-HD resolution. YouTube Music is $10 per month, and for an extra $12 per month, you can get rid of the commercials and get downloadable music and video. You may pay as much as $240 per year for just those two services.
Walmart Plus, a competing service, was just launched for $98 a year, or $12.95 per month, with a 15-day free trial. Its biggest perk is that if you spend $35 or more, you can get free grocery delivery from any of 2,700 Walmart locations. Walmart.com also offers free next-day or two-day shipping with no minimum purchase. Additionally, nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA, and Murphy Express gas stations provide savings of up to 5 cents per gallon. Finally, there's Scan & Go, which allows you to visit any Walmart store and scan products you want to buy using the Walmart app. You can then pay for them right away and go away without having to go through the checkout line.
The movie and music services offered by Amazon Prime are only $119 per year. Amazon's video content isn't as good as Netflix's, but it's improving and will continue to improve. If you were to choose between the two, Netflix and YouTube Premium appear to offer $240 in annual value. Paying $119 a year for Amazon Prime does not provide nearly as much value.
If you shop on Amazon frequently enough each year, the savings on two-day shipping can usually offset the cost of the service. The $119 yearly membership may not be worth it if you only shop on Amazon once in a while.
So, is Amazon Prime worth it?
Is it worthwhile to subscribe to Amazon Prime? It is contingent on the type of user you are.
Signing up for a Prime subscription is well worth it if you use all of the services that come with it.
If you aren't a frequent Amazon shopper, your best bet is to skip the $119 annual cost and stick with Netflix and YouTube Music instead. They may be more expensive, but they come with a lot more content. That is, in the end, where you want to spend your hard-earned cash.
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