Amazon has quietly added a monthly option for Amazon Prime, the retailer's two-day shipping, media-streaming, and Kindle loaning membership service, though shoppers pay a premium for flexibility. Until now, Prime had only been available as a year-long subscription, paid upfront at $79 for as many two-day shipping items, as much Amazon Instant Video streaming, and access to the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, as the user wanted. Now, you can have the same for $7.99 per month with no minimum term.
The new, recurring fee option is likely to be useful for those that are convinced by the value of Amazon Prime after the month-long free trial option, but are wary of locking themselves in for a full year. It should also net Amazon some new users over the holiday period, given the potential for internet shopping is likely to rise.
Another possibility is that the monthly Prime scheme could be appealing to those looking to skip from Netflix, Hulu Plus, or other streaming media providers. Amazon's catalog of shows and movies is claimed to number in the "thousands" according tot he retailer.
However, flexibility comes with a price, and that's a larger fee overall if you stick with monthly Prime payments. A year's membership is $95.88, or $16.88 more than the annual cost.
There's no sign of similar monthly options in other locations where Amazon Prime is offered - the UK, Germany, Japan, and France - though the deal does vary depending on which services the retailer promises in each location. While there's no Amazon Instant Video, for instance, next-day shipping is the norm rather than two-day shipping as in the US.