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What is Amazon Prime? – CNET


Claudia Cruz / CNET

In 2005, Amazon introduced a service called Prime – and it's no exaggeration to say that it has changed online shopping. As of April 201

8, the company has more than 100 million subscribers.

But what the hell is Prime? How much does it cost? And what advantages does it offer ? Let's take a look at what this service is about.

A Brief History of Prime

When it debuted in 2005, Amazon Prime was all about shipping. For an annual fee of $ 79, you can get unlimited 2-day shipping (within the continental US) on almost everything Amazon sells. Stranger still, there was no minimum purchase required; You could order a $ 2 cable and get it in two days.

That was when free shipping was still a rarity – and 2-day shipping meant extra money. With Prime, you could buy discounted (or at least competitively priced) products that would otherwise require a trip to a store. As long as you were not in a hurry, ordering through Amazon Prime meant saving both time and money.

And if you were in a hurry? You could upgrade to overnight shipping for a small fee.

Prime then vs. Prime Now

In the 13 years since its launch, Amazon Prime has greatly expanded its reach. For example, it now includes a Netflix-style streaming video service, home to a large library of movies and TV shows. Some of them are Amazon originals that have received Emmy or Oscar nominations or awards.

With Prime, you can also stream music – worth about two million – to your smartphone, tablet, PC or Amazon Echo on Amazon.com) Smart Device. This is a far cry from the 30 million Apple Music and Spotify users have, but it's free.

Need a place for your digital photos? Prime subscribers receive unlimited cloud storage for their photos and 5 GB of storage for documents and videos.

These are just some of the current Prime benefits. Amazon continues to expand the list, most recently with a selection of free PC games offered each month .

Read more: 22 benefits each Amazon Prime member receives . [19659004] It's worth noting that the price stays the same whether you use some or all of the benefits. So it's an advantage for you to get all the bonuses you can get from Prime.

How much does it cost?

As mentioned earlier, Prime started at $ 79 a year. In 2014, Amazon raised the annual price to $ 99. And at the beginning of this year the price of Prime rose to $ 119 .

Is it worth it? That is of course the question $ 119 . It's a challenge to calculate the real value of the service as that value varies from person to person.

But keep in mind the shipping benefits alone. Prime costs pay for about $ 9.92 a month. For example, if you can do four errands per month by shipping items to you, you will save money on gasoline and wear on your car. It also saves you time: maybe an hour or two, maybe more.

Does it all add up to $ 9.92? Again, it's hard to say, but if you add all the other benefits – the free books, games, music, etc. – it's not hard to justify the cost of the service.

Amazon Prime Tips

Here are some of our latest Amazon Prime guides.

What are the benefits of Amazon Prime? It's not just a two-day shipment. Here's everything you get with your Prime subscription, including little-known perks like discounted groceries.

Here are the best perks. Yes, there are more than 20 advantages, but these are our favorites.

Is it a good deal? Maybe. Our guide will guide you through Amazon's recent price changes and what that means to you

Prime Day 2018 guide . Amazon's biggest selling event takes place in July. Here's everything you need to know.

5 Amazing Things About Amazon . We dug up some of the little-known things about the Internet's favorite shop.

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