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Amazon Prime membership gets more expensive for Europe

Residents of largest economies in Europe will have to pay more for Amazon quick deliveries and video content from 15th September this year.

US internet giant recently announced price increases for Amazon Prime members in the UK, Germany, France Italy and Spain. As you can see from the list below, not only is there a fair bit of variation in price between countries, but the rate of increase varies too.

  • UK: £7.99 monthly to £8.99 monthly (13%) or £79 annually to £95 annually (20%)
  • Germany: €7.99 monthly to €8.99 monthly (13%) or €69.00 annually to €89.90 annually (30%)
  • France: €5.99 monthly to €6.99 monthly (17%) or €49.00 annually to €69.90 annually (43%)
  • Italy: €3.99 monthly to €4.99 monthly (25%) or €36.00 annually to €49.90 annually (37%)
  • Spain: €3.99 monthly to €4.99 monthly (25%) or €36.00 annually to €49.90 annually (37%)

So the good news for UK users is that they’re getting the lowest increases but, on the other hand, that also highlights the fact that they have been paying over the odds for years. Italy and Spain last had increases in 2018 and Germany in 2017, while this is the first UK one since 2014 and the first for France since Prime was introduced in 2008.

We’re told that benefits vary per country but, presumably, they all get the free and expedited delivery and access to Amazon content, so it’s not obvious why different European countries are charged such differing amounts. Presumably Amazon charges whatever it thinks the local market will tolerate while pursuing its underlying business objectives. For comparison, Americans are charged around £12.50 per month or £116 per year.

“There are a number of factors that impact the price of Prime, including both general and material costs that are impacted by a variety of things including (but not limited to) inflation,” said Amazon in an emailed statement. “Those external factors include things like costs of goods and increasing costs of shipping.”

Amazon Prime is a unique combination of premium ecommerce services and subscription video on demand. Prime members presumably do more of their ecommerce over Amazon and this stickiness is presumed to be the main purpose of Prime from a business point of view. This combination could mean that Amazon is less likely to lose subscribers when it raises prices than single-play offerings such as Netflix.

It’s very hard to establish whether or not Prime membership fees generate profit for Amazon in and of themselves, given the complex overheads involved with logistics and video production, but this hike is clearly part of the general global inflationary trend. Digital consumers feeling the pinch have some difficult choices ahead of them.

 

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