Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service offered by Amazon.com that gives users access to free one-day delivery, streaming video/music and other benefits for a monthly or yearly fee. As of April 2017, Prime has more than 80 million paying users.
Type of site
|Founded||2 February 2005|
|Revenue||$6.4 billion (2016)|
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), as well as discounted one-day shipping rates. 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, in India in July 2016 and in Mexico in March 2017.
Amazon Prime membership in Germany, the United Kingdom, India and the United States also provides Amazon Video, the instant streaming of selected movies and TV shows at no additional cost. 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.
In March 2014, Amazon announced an increase in the annual membership fee for Amazon Prime, from $79 to $99. 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. In November 2014, Amazon added Prime Photos, which allows unlimited photo storage in the users' Amazon Drive (though only some raw photo files count as photos). Amazon also began offering free same-day delivery to Prime members in 14 United States metropolitan areas in May 2015.
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.
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. Also that month Amazon Prime announced 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".
In December 2015, Amazon stated that "tens of millions" of people are Amazon Prime members. Amazon Prime added 3 million members during the third week of December 2015. It was also during December that Amazon announced the creation of the Streaming Partners Program, 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. Several reports in January 2016 said that nearly half of all U.S. households are members of Amazon Prime.
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.
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.
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.
Amazon announced Prime Wardrobe, a service that lets customers try on clothes before they pay, in June 2017.
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.
In April 2014, Amazon began a service for shipping non-perishable grocery store items into a single box for delivery for a flat fee. The service is available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, India, Japan, Italy, Spain, and France.
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. In February 2015, the service was extended to include all of Manhattan. By mid-2016, it had been expanded in the United States to include parts of Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Seattle, Dallas, Atlanta, Austin, Nashville, Portland, San Antonio, and Tampa. Outside of the United States, it has expanded to London, Birmingham, UK., Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Milan, Munich, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Tokyo and Singapore. To meet the on-demand needs of Prime Now, Amazon further launched Amazon Flex, a platform for independent contractors to provide delivery services.
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