The cost of being an Amazon Prime customer is going up by 20 percent from $99 to $119 per year, effective May 11 for new customers and June 16 for existing customers.

Amazon Prime is a subscription service offered by Amazon that provides, among other things, free two-day shipping on most products offered at Amazon Prime also provides access to Amazon’s video streaming service, Prime Video. Amazon offers other discounted services to Amazon Prime members that can be seen at:

So why should people pay 20 percent more for Amazon Prime? My guess is that there will be some drop-off in subscriptions, but I doubt it will be much. Amazon has done a great job at creating loyalty to its brand and making online purchasing so easy.

Amazon has grown from an online bookseller to a marketplace for just about everything. They have transformed how people buy things. Not only is the sales process scarily easy, but the shipping costs have become almost non-existent and returns are generally free and hassle free.

Adding to Amazon’s sales offerings, their creation of entertainment content is substantial. While not as extensive as the offerings from Netflix, Amazon nonetheless has created content that is a worthy competitor. Amazon does not like to be second in their markets, so I expect to see them investing in this area further.

Other features of Amazon Prime include Prime Reading, the ability to borrow digital books and magazines, Audible Channels, access to original audio series, access to Amazon branded credit cards and more.

Amazon continues to innovate and provide many new consumer offerings that connect with consumers.

While not directly part of Amazon Prime, Amazon’s Echo (commonly referred to as “Alexa”) devices integrate with your Amazon Prime account.

Memberships are a way to guarantee a certain amount of income from a customer. Costco and BJ’s do this. The membership also ensures that consumers continue to use the company’s products in order to make the most of their membership fee.

To the point about raising the annual subscription fee of Amazon Prime, Amazon continues to spend on their products and those products cost real money. As long as Amazon continues to provide real and perceived value for its Amazon Prime membership, I expect that the prices will go up over the next few years and most people will be happy to pay the membership fee.

Mark Mathias is a 35+ year information technology executive and a resident of Westport, Connecticut. He can be contacted at