Amazon sent emails to Prime subscribers throughout Europe this week revealing the monthly and annual costs of its subscription services are set to rise, pretty significantly in most cases. The price hikes come five months after an annual subscription to Amazon Prime in the US went up from $119 to $139.
The $20, or 17 percent, increase stateside actually feels quite conservative when compared to the price jump certain European markets will be subjected to later this year. As reported by The Verge, France's annual subscription fee is the one set to undergo the biggest increase. French Prime subscribers will see their annual fee go from €49 to €69.90 this September, a pretty staggering 43 percent uplift. Elsewhere in Europe, Italian and Spanish Prime subscriptions will increase by 39 percent, and the service will soon be 30 percent more expensive in Germany.
It might not be a part of the EU anymore, but the UK is also not immune to Prime's price hikes. An annual sub will be £95 per year starting from September 15, 2022, a 20 percent jump versus the £79 it costs now. Despite the increase not being quite as significant as it will be in other European markets, the UK might be where Amazon's price jump is set to make it the most money. It's one of the biggest markets in the world for Prime subscribers with research courtesy of Kantar estimating more than half of UK households are signed up.
As for why now, and why this much, Reuters reports that Amazon is pinning the blame on “increased inflation and operating costs”. It's also worth noting Amazon posted its first quarterly loss for seven years in Q1 2022. News that Prime will soon be more expensive in some of Europe's leading markets coming days before its Q2 2022 numbers are revealed is likely no coincidence.
As for the bigger picture when it comes to streaming subscription services, competition is really starting to heat up. Netflix once ran unopposed, but the growing market and other options now available resulted in the streaming giant losing more than one million subscribers last quarter. Prime might not boast as many exclusives as some of its rivals, but the big selling point being its delivery service means even with an inflated price, it has an extra other streaming services simply can't offer.
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