Amazon is increasing its Prime membership subscription prices in the U.S., the company has revealed in its Q4 2021 earnings results.
According to the company, the fee for a Prime subscription is set to increase for the first time in four years, rising to $15 per month (up from $13), or $139 per year (up from $119).
The price hike, representing an almost 17% increase, will go into effect for new customers starting February 18, 2022, while current members will see their plans go up after March 25, 2022.
Amazon says the increase will pay for the “continued expansion” of Prime perks, along with higher employee salaries and more expensive shipping costs. Amazon hasn’t said whether the Prime price change will apply in other countries.
An Amazon Prime subscription includes “free” one-day shipping on purchases made on Amazon, access to Prime Video, Prime Music, and other Amazon digital platforms and services.
As noted by Engadget, Amazon’s recent Prime Video spends are also likely to have been a factor, with the upcoming first season of the new “The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power” series reportedly expected to cost $465 million. Amazon last year also acquired Hollywood studio MGM for $8.5 billion.
Amazon’s net profit jumped nearly 57% in 2021 to $33.4 billion, due in part to the lingering effects of the global health crisis, which has had a positive effect on Amazon’s core shopping business. Amazon stock jumped 13% in pre-market trading on Friday following its strong fourth-quarter earnings.