Amazon Prime's price may be increasing, but the subscription service's value isn't diminishing – I think it's improving
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The conversation all week long has been around Amazon raising the price of its Prime subscription service. I wasn’t at all surprised when the extra £1 per month on the UK plan’s price was scheduled from mid-September (following the even steeper price rise in the USA back in February).
But at least that’s ample warning – so you can always try my money-saving hack of an annual subscription change (that’s what I’ve opted to do) or simply cancel your Prime subscription if it’s no longer for you or just not financially feasible anymore.
Either way, when the press release dropped into my inbox I kinda shrugged it off, because even if Amazon had pushed the price up by £2 a month to £9.99 I still wouldn’t realistically pull the plug and cancel. That’s how much ‘Amazon culture’ has taken over what it means to shop in today’s world (for better or worse).
Just this month I bought the PS5 edition of Horizon Forbidden West for £45 delivered to my door the very next day. That a massive bargain that no other retailer could match by the order of £15, which in itself made my Prime subscription ‘free’ both that month and the month after (I know that’s not strictly true, but you catch my drift).
That wasn’t all though: in the middle of a DIY project, realising I didn’t have the correct screwdriver size, I ordered one that was delivered same day Saturday before 10pm. Good job, too, as I’m currently self-isolating and can’t go to public places or events until early August, so had no choice but to use a delivery service – and all the others wanted to charge £5 delivery for a slower service.
Amazon Prime is more than just free delivery
(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)
The thing is, Amazon Prime is more than just a delivery service. To me it’s more like a delivery service with the additional nicety of Prime Video shows added into the mix. There was a point when such shows were a bonus watch (two for me being Man in the High Castle and Sneaky Pete).
But how times have changed. I was thinking it over: having just finished The Boys season 3 and now making headway into the excellent The Terminal List, I’ve had more hours of enjoyment from Amazon’s cheaper streaming service than I’ve received from Netflix’s twice-the-price plan. Go figure.
I suspect the Prime Video model is only going to be pushed even more fiercely by Amazon too. With The Lord of the Rings series – which is the most expensive TV show ever made – coming later in the year, there’s a lot of interest in that. Not from me, mind, I hated the LOTR movie series and this therefore doesn’t remotely interest me. But there’s a whole lot of people who will want to watch.
But everything I’ve just pointed out above, not to mention the flash period that every James Bond was available on Prime Video, goes to show great value. Add in Prime’s free delivery in tandem with that and you’ve got a subscription service that’s still very good value at £8.99 a month.
By the numbers: is Amazon Prime still worth it?
(Image credit: Amazon)
I’ve been thinking over the numbers and, while the UK’s Prime subscription cost rise of 11.2 per cent on the monthly plan sounds like a lot, it’s not increased year-on-year at all since 2014.
So if you’ve had the service since then that works out as 1.4 per cent per year over the term. Even The Bank of England’s monetary inflation calculator tells me that’s 0.2% lower than inflation over the same term.
Since 2014 it’s not as though Amazon’s service has got worse – in my experience it’s improved, with more quick-delivery items available (often same-day, as cited above) and a no-quibble customer service team when something goes wrong.
For perspective, Amazon’s price rise is a more moderate increase than my Ring doorbell subscription’s 40 per cent price hike (also an extra £1 per month), which has already come into effect this month. That’s a much steeper rise for a service that’s far less reliable.
In short: Amazon Prime is still great value. And as a closing thought, I will say that I hope its new CEO, Andy Jassy, will push for a portion of this money back into the company’s staffing to keep those hard workers also in line with inflation and cost of living pressures.