Amazon is raising the price of its Prime subscription 20 percent, to $119. It’s the program’s first price hike since 2014 when it bumped up the cost of an annual Prime subscription from $79 to $99.
The news came on the heels of the company’s announcement that its first quarter sales were up 43 percent to $51 billion.
Prime’s new price kicks in June 16 for its 100 million members. If all of those re-up at $119, that’s nearly $12 billion dollars added to Amazon’s coffers -- $9 billion more a year than Amazon previously reaped out of Prime.
“The Prime program continues to drive great strength to our top line,” Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, said in a Thursday earnings call.
Making Prime work for everyone
Amazon’s has a vested interest in Prime and seems intent on making the subscription’s return-on-investment worthwhile for everyone in its membership base. In the last year alone, Amazon announced a 45 percent discount on Prime service for consumers on welfare or food stamps and a 50 percent discount on Prime for Medicaid recipients.
The company keeps casting Prime’s net wider, too. Amazon’s Mexican portal (Amazon.com.mx) recently celebrated the first anniversary of Prime and now has over 20 million items available and has delivered Prime packages to more than 13,000 postal codes in Mexico. In Asia, Amazon’s Chinese portal (Amazon.cn) saw the launch of Prime Reading, the first entertainment benefit for Prime members in China.
Amazon’s investment in its product line also keeps growing. The company’s list of Prime plusses include 70 films available exclusively on Prime Video and free two-hour grocery delivery from Whole Foods Market in 10 cities across the U.S. On Wednesday, the company announced it would be making deliveries to customers’ cars, free of charge for Prime members.