Amazon is the online shop for everything, and have expanded beyond retail into streaming services and household gadgets. Their Prime membership comes with a wide array of features, but are they actually worth the investment, or are they more likely to sit unused for months at a time?
Price: Prime has a one-month free trial period, with full access to its services which can then be cancelled at the end of the month or continued on into paid membership if you liked what you got. If you buy a years membership up front, it’ll cost you £79, with a pay-monthly membership now also available at £7.99 per month, effectively giving 2 months free to those who buy the full year. Amazon also offer a generous student discount, with the free trial extended to 6 months for students, and then only costing £39 for 12 months if you choose to stay on.
What you get: Prime brings with it several eye-catching features to draw you in
Free next day delivery on thousands of items sold by Amazon, some (depending on where you live) even able to be delivered on the same day. This is where Prime started out and is still the best feature offered by Prime, particularly for anyone who purchases off of Amazon frequently. It’s worth looking through your purchase history and seeing how much you’ve been spending on postage, and how many days you’ve been waiting for delivery that could have been trimmed down – if you do a lot of shopping through Amazon then Prime
membership could save you both time and money through shipping costs alone.
Amazon Instant Video is Amazon’s video streaming service to compete with the likes of Netflix. With the likes of The Grand Tour, Parks & Recreation, and Mr. Robot, there is some high-quality entertainment to be had on there, but you might find that their selection isn’t quite so comprehensive as others. Amazon also don’t include every film that they have in their collection to Prime Member, with more recent blockbusters being available for purchase or rent on top of your membership fee. Amazon have however made a move into the world of sport broadcasting, having secured the rights to 20 Premier League football matches in the 2019/2020 season.
Prime Music is the basic level of Amazon’s music streaming service. The level included with Prime isn’t particularly extensive, with around 2 million songs on offer for instant streaming as opposed to over 40 million with Amazon Music Unlimited (not included in Prime). If you already use another music streaming service such as Spotify or Apple Music, then you’re not likely to get any use out of Prime Music.
Access to lightning deals – short sales on specific items, often up to 70% off or more, lightning deals appeal to the impulse buyer. There are some good deals to be had, but rarely on top of the range or more popular items, and it’s unpredictable when or if items you want will show up there.
Cloud photo storage with no limits, Amazon’s cloud storage service is open to you with an unlimited number of photos.
Kindle eBook library is opened to Prime members, allowing them to borrow one book per month for free.
Twitch Prime is an added bonus if you ever use the site Twitch.tv – the live streaming site purchased by Amazon which has built up an extensive community of hobbyists, entertainers, professional video gamers and more. Twitch Prime is included with your Amazon prime membership and gives the user a free monthly subscription to their favourite content producers and streamers, along with in-game cosmetic items for many different games each month.
Prime’s real value is in it’s free next day delivery and it’s video streaming content, with the other features included being nice extras, but hardly enough to draw you in by themselves. If you find that you do a lot of your shopping online, specifically through Amazon, then Prime membership can save you considerable money along with the other features which it provides. Prime Video has a growing library of high-quality content, but it’s worth having a look through the changing selection available to see if there are enough titles that you personally would be interested in watching. If you’re not getting much use out of the shipping or video services, then it’s likely worth cancelling your membership to save money, however, if you get much use at all out of them then Amazon Prime is really quite good value for money. Amazon are also adding to what’s included over time, and the value proposition is almost certainly going to go up.