Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime logo.jpg
Type of site
Subscription service
Founded 2005 (2005)
Industry Internet
Launched 2005; 12 years ago (2005)
Current status Active

Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service offered by that gives users access to free two-day shipping, streaming video/music and other benefits for a monthly or yearly fee.



Early historyEdit

In 2005, Amazon announced the creation of Amazon Prime, a membership offering free two-day shipping within the contiguous United States on all eligible purchases for a flat annual fee of $79 (equivalent to $97 in 2016),[1] as well as discounted one-day shipping rates.[2] Amazon launched the program in Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom in 2007; in France (as "Amazon Premium") in 2008, in Italy in 2011, in Canada in 2013,[3] in India in July 2016[4] and in Mexico in March 2017 [5]


Amazon Prime membership in Germany, the United Kingdom,India and the United States also provides Amazon Video,[6] the instant streaming of selected movies and TV shows at no additional cost.[7] In November 2011, it was announced that Prime members have access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows users to borrow certain popular Kindle e-books for free reading on Kindle hardware, up to one book a month, with no due date.[8]

In March 2014, Amazon announced an increase in the annual membership fee for Amazon Prime, from $79 to $99.[1][9] Shortly after this change, Amazon announced Prime Music, a service whose members can get unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and access to curated playlists.[10] In November 2014, Amazon added Prime Photos, which allows unlimited photo storage in the users' Amazon Drive[11] (though only some raw photo files count as photos).[12][13] Amazon also began offering free same-day delivery to Prime members in 14 United States metropolitan areas in May 2015.[14]

In April 2015, Amazon started a trial partnership with Audi and DHL in order to get deliveries directly into the trunks of Audi cars. This project is only available on the Munich (Germany) area to some Audi connected car users.[15]

On July 15, 2015, to commemorate its 20th birthday, Amazon celebrated "Amazon Prime Day", which Amazon announced would feature deals for prime members that rivaled those on Black Friday.[16] Also that month Amazon Prime announced[17] that it would be signing Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, formerly of BBC's Top Gear, to begin working on The Grand Tour, due to be released in 2016. On July 13, 2016, Amazon Prime said customers placed 60 percent more orders worldwide on "Prime Day".[18]

In December 2015, Amazon stated that "tens of millions" of people are Amazon Prime members.[19] Amazon Prime added 3 million members during the third week of December 2015.[20] It was also during December that Amazon announced the creation of the Streaming Partners Program,[21] an over-the-top subscription service that enables Amazon Prime subscribers to add additional streaming video services to their accounts. Among the programming providers involved in the program are Showtime, Starz (with additional content from sister network Encore), Lifetime Movie Club (containing recent original movie titles from Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network), Smithsonian Earth, and Qello Concerts.

In January 2016, Amazon Prime reached 54 million members according to a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.[22] Several reports in January 2016 said that nearly half of all U.S. households are members of Amazon Prime.[23]

In April 2016, Amazon announced same-day delivery would be expanded to include the areas of Charlotte, Cincinnati, Fresno, Louisville, Milwaukee, Nashville, Central New Jersey, Raleigh, Richmond, Sacramento, Stockton, and Tucson, bringing total coverage to 27 metro areas.[24][25]

In September 2016, Amazon launched a restaurant delivery for Prime members in London. It was reported delivery fee on all orders is free for Prime members with a minimum order of £15.00.[26]

On September 30, 2016, Amazon subsidiary Twitch announced premium features that are exclusive to users who have an active Amazon Prime subscription (Twitch Prime), including advertising-free access to the service, and monthly offers of video games and add-on content.[27]

In December 2016, Amazon began offering prime membership for a monthly, instead of yearly fee, at $10.99 per month.

In December 2016, Amazon announced Wickedly Prime, a private-label line of food and beverages available to Prime members.[28]

Prime MusicEdit

Prime Music is a Spotify/Google Play Music competitor that offer a library of millions of songs to Amazon Prime members at no added cost.

Prime VideoEdit

Main article: Amazon Video

The service debuted on September 7, 2006 as Amazon Unbox in the United States. On September 4, 2008, the service was renamed Amazon Video on Demand. The Unbox name still refers to the local program, which as of August 2014 is no longer available for downloading purchased instant videos. On February 22, 2011, the service rebranded as Amazon Instant Video and added access to 5,000 movies and TV shows for Amazon Prime members.

Prime NowEdit

In December 2014, Amazon announced that as a benefit to Prime members, parts of Manhattan, in New York City, could get products delivered to them within one hour for a fee of $7.99, or within two hours for no additional fee. 25,000 daily essential products are available with this delivery service.[29] In February 2015, the service was extended to include all of Manhattan.[30] By mid-2016, it had been expanded in the United States to include parts of Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Dallas, Atlanta, Austin, Nashville, San Antonio, and Tampa.[31][32][33][34] Outside of the United States, it has expanded to London,[35] Birmingham, UK.,[36] Newcastle, Manchester,[37] Liverpool,[38] Milan,[39] Munich, Berlin,[40] Paris,[41] Barcelona,[42] Madrid[43] and Tokyo.[44] To meet the on-demand needs of Prime Now, Amazon further launched Amazon Flex, a platform for independent contractors to provide delivery services.[45]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Weissmann, Jordan (March 13, 2014). "Amazon Is Jacking Up the Cost of Prime, and It's Still Cheap". The Slate Group. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Amazon Prime". Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ Smith, Mat (January 8, 2013). "Amazon Prime arrives in Canada: Free two-day shipping, no Instant Video". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ Dua, Kunal (July 26, 2016). "Amazon Prime Launched in India, Amazon Video 'Is Coming". 
  5. ^ Perez, Sarah. "Amazon Prime launches in Mexico". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-03-07. 
  6. ^ Sawers, Paul (February 21, 2014). "Amazon Launches Prime Instant Video in UK & Germany". The Next Web. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Amazon Adds Instant Videos to Amazon Prime". February 22, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ Boog, Jason (November 3, 2011). "Kindle Owners' Lending Library Unveiled". GalleyCat. 
  9. ^ Stone, Brad; Brustein, Joshua (March 13, 2014). "As It Warned, Amazon Boosts the Price of Prime". Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Learn More About Amazon Prime". Retrieved July 23, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Amazon Prime customers now get unlimited cloud storage for photos". The Verge. 
  12. ^ About RAW Photo Files, Amazon. Accessed 2 September 2016.
  13. ^ Amazon Drive: Photo, Video, and File Requirements, Amazon. Accessed 2 September 2016.
  14. ^ "". May 28, 2015. 
  15. ^ "". April 23, 2015. 
  16. ^ McCormick, Rich. "Amazon says 20th birthday celebration will be bigger than Black Friday". The Verge. Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  17. ^ "AmazonVideoUK Twitter Account: We've got a brand new ride.". July 30, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Amazon Says Prime Day Orders Jump 60 Percent over Last Year". 
  19. ^ Shaffer, Leslie. "Amazon lifts the veil on Prime". CNBC. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  20. ^ Molina, Brett. "Amazon: Prime members in 'tens of millions'". USA Today. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  21. ^ "Amazon Media Room: Press Releases". Amazon. 
  22. ^ "Amazon Prime now reaches nearly half of U.S. households". CNN. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  23. ^ Amazon Prime Memberships CNN, January 26, 2016.
  24. ^ "Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery Expands to 11 New Metro Areas | Business Wire". Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  25. ^ "Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery". Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  26. ^ Steve O'Hear (7 September 2016). "Amazon launches restaurant delivery for Prime members in London". TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  27. ^ Statt, Nick (September 30, 2016). "Twitch will be ad-free for all Amazon Prime subscribers". The Verge. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  28. ^ Perez, Sarah. "Amazon launches its newest private label, Wickedly Prime". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-12-23. 
  29. ^ "Prime Now". Wired. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  30. ^ Amazon’s One-Hour Delivery Service Goes Live Across Manhattan. Retrieved February 17, 2015
  31. ^ [1]. Retrieved March 19, 2015
  32. ^ [2]. Retrieved March 19, 2015
  33. ^ Andre Revilla (May 18, 2015). "Amazon takes the NYC subway to shorten delivery times". Digital Trends. Retrieved May 19, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Amazon launches Prime Now two-hour delivery service in Tampa Bay". 
  35. ^ Lomas, Natasha (June 30, 2015). "Amazon Takes Prime Now Outside U.S., Opens One-Hour Delivery In London". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  36. ^ Lomas, Natasha (August 6, 2015). "Amazon expands Prime Now one-hour deliveries to Birmingham". ngadget. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  37. ^ Morley, Nicole. "Amazon Prime Now expands across UK (so you can have shopping delivered in less than an hour)". Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  38. ^ "Amazon brings one-hour Prime Now deliveries to Liverpool". Engadget. Retrieved 2016-01-29. 
  39. ^ "Amazon launches Amazon Prime Now in Italy". Ecommerce News. Retrieved December 13, 2015. 
  40. ^ "Berlin: Amazon startet Lieferung binnen einer Stunde". (in German). Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  41. ^ "Amazon Prime Now débarque à Paris, avec sa livraison en une heure". (in French). Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  42. ^ "Amazon estrena hoy en Barcelona un centro de reparto y las entregas en una hora". (in French). Retrieved 2016-06-16. 
  43. ^ "Amazon launches Prime Now food deliveries in Madrid". Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  44. ^ "Amazon Prime Now comes to Tokyo «  Post & Parcel". Retrieved December 13, 2015. 
  45. ^ "What is Amazon Flex? | Amazon Flex Info". Retrieved 2016-12-13.