For nearly a decade, Amazon Prime has been $80. Now, the unthinkable has happened: Amazon has raised the price by twenty bucks, to $100. There has been some wailing and gnashing of the teeth, naturally, asking whether the service is now “overpriced.” Well, let’s break it down!
The key feature of Prime, of course, is its shipping benefits: You buy a book, or a video game, or a 55-gallon drum of personal lubricant that will haunt you forever on Facebook, and you get it shipped for free, whether it’s free two-day shipping, “no-rush” shipping, or an automatic upgrade. Pricing shipping is tricky; UPS gets a lot of business from Amazon, so Amazon doesn’t pay what we do to get stuff shipped. But the slowest shipping option is $3.99, and it’s safe to assume that two-day shipping is between $6 and $8.
So doing the math: If you buy between twelve and sixteen things a year to be shipped to your house, yes, Prime is worth it.
This one’s easy; Amazon generally charges $2 an episode for TV shows. So, essentially, watch fifty shows and you’re good. This is easier than you might at first think. Hell, you can do that with the first three series on our list of the best stuff exclusive to Prime. Or you could just relentlessly watch Food Network shows.
Kindle Lending Library
It’s easy to forget that, oh yeah, Amazon also sells books. eBooks, even! Admittedly, the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library is something of a crap deal for most Prime users, because you need to have a Kindle to use it, and most of us just use tablets. But if you do have a Kindle, you get a free book every month through the Kindle First program, and you can borrow one book a month from the Lending Library. Yeah, that’s pretty stingy, but that still works out to ten bucks a month.
In theory, Amazon will have a streaming music service, and it sounds awful. Let us never speak of it again, should it come to fruition in this form.
Amazon is unlikely to stop adding stuff to Prime. For example, Jeff Bezos, who runs Amazon, owns the Washington Post; it’s unlikely that Prime members won’t suddenly find themselves the recipient of a shiny new WaPo app sooner or later. Essentially, anything that facilitates you buying more stuff, Amazon wants to encourage it; it’s not out of the realm of possibility, as the Kindle gets cheaper, that Amazon will just start sending you one with Prime.
In short, you get a lot of stuff for your hundred bucks. Hell, it’s worth $100 just to stream Justified whenever you feel like it.