Amazon is shaking up the way they package Amazon Prime and LOVEFiLM streaming video in UK, and it's likely going to anger some longtime Amazon Prime users.
Starting on February 26th, Amazon Prime will cost UK residents £79 a year–up from the £49 price tag users currently enjoy. That's a huge price increase.
Or, if you take Amazon's spin on it, it's a 35% saving for customers who use both Amazon Prime and LOVEFiLM streaming services in the UK. Yep, UK Prime customers are getting a huge price hike, but they're also getting LOVEFiLM streaming capabilities in the process.
Amazon is rebranding LOVEFiLM UK as Amazon Prime Instant Video–just like it's known in the US. In five days, an Amazon Prime membership in the UK will include free one-day delivery, access to the Kindle Lending Library, and Prime Instant Video.
But what if you're an Amazon Prime customer who enjoys free shipping but has no interest in streaming video? Well, tough luck. This is a consolidation and rebranding effort, and you don't have a choice. Whether you want streaming content or not, your Amazon Prime membership is going to run you £79 a year.
“Millions of customers in the US have streaming video included as part of their Prime membership and they tell us they love the combination of unlimited delivery, the ability to borrow Kindle books, and convenient access to thousands of the most popular movies, TV shows and exclusive videos,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President of Amazon Prime. “We are delighted to be bringing that same combination of services to the UK, providing members truly unique benefits they can enjoy every day of the year.”
Now, if you do subscribe to both Amazon Prime and LOVEFiLM in the UK, Amazon isn't lying–this is a huge price decrease. Consider Amazon Prime currently costs £49 a year, and LOVEFiLM streaming goes for £5.99 a month–dual subscribers are now spending a hell of a lot more than £79 to snag both services. For these people, this really is a great deal.
But for the Amazon Prime customers who love their shipping privileges but couldn't care less about streaming video, well, they'll most likely be a bit perturbed. This is quite a large price hike.
If you fall into this category of users–you need to act fast. You can lock in the £49 price for the next year if you sign up during the "countdown period." Once again, you have until February 26th to act.
Speaking of price hikes, we might be getting one across the pond as well. Last month, during their earnings call, Amazon said that they were at least considering a $20-40 price increase for a yearly subscription to Amazon Prime. The company cited higher fuel and transportation costs, as well as increased usage.
But unlike Amazon Prime UK's price hike, that one wouldn't likely come with any additional benefits–we already have streaming video built-in to our package.
Image via Amazon UK