For the first time, Amazon is raising the price of its Prime free-shipping program for U.S. members – which includes access to the unlimited Prime Instant Video service. The cost is increasing from $79 to $99 per year. Current members will be charged $79 if their membership renews before April 17 and $99 if their membership renews on or after that date.
Announcing the change in a notice on their website, the company also noted that Amazon Student members can get Prime for $49. It added that the fee for Prime Fresh membership will remain unchanged at $299.
Though Amazon declined to give a reason for the prince increase, an influx of Prime Instant Video content would seem to be partially responsible. In addition to an increasing volume of original shows, the Prime library also includes exclusive streaming rights for programs like Downtown Abbey and Veronica Mars.