Is Amazon Prime worth the price?

Ninety-nine dollars. A hefty price to pay for an annual subscription to anything, let alone an Internet service. Yet, this is what Amazon charges for its Prime service, and it’s a big winner for the company. Tens of millions of users have paid the $99 fee to watch free movies and TV shows, read books, listen to music, and get free deliveries. In other words, it’s Netflix, Pandora, and, well, Amazon, all tied into one.

But is it worth it? While other services like Hulu or Spotify charge a monthly subscription fee, Amazon Prime wants it all up front, which could put a crimp in your young family’s budget. Let’s break it down to see if the service is right for you.

Free trial

Unlike some other streaming companies which only give potential subscribers one week to look things over, Amazon Prime gives customers 30 days to try everything out. And they don’t set limits to what a potential customer can do. This means they can watch videos, download music, get discounts on books and other items, and utilize free two-day shipping on most products.

Stream videos

Amazon Prime is a combination of Netflix and a service like M-Go. Subscribers can watch thousands of television shows and movies for free, including a number of original series. Some programs currently on the air, especially reality programs, can be purchased per episode or for an entire series. The downside to Prime’s video streaming service is the fact some shows and movies are paralleled on Netflix. This may be a negative when considering investment in the service.

Reading books

Many titles, paperback and electronic, are drastically reduce in price under the Prime program. In fact, there are many ebook titles which are free for Prime subscribers. This is a good opportunity to read both good and bad material without paying any additional charge. Another plus — a Kindle device is not needed to read these books. Amazon offers a free app which can be downloaded to smartphones and tablets to enjoy the material.

Listening to music

Prime Music touts over a million songs to listen to for free. Utilizing the Amazon Cloud Music app or via a web browser, Prime subscribers can listen to hours of free music. Their is a downside to this — subscribers can listen to the music via the app but can’t download it to their devices unless they make a purchase. Individual songs run from .69 to $1.29 while album download costs run the gamut.


The biggest advantage to a Prime subscription is free two-day shipping on most items. Throw in reduced prices for many products, and keeps costs down for those who do much of their shopping on Amazon. For those who make purchases only a few times a year this service may not be worth the cost.

Should you be considering a Prime membership look at the categories above and invest if at least two or more pique your interest. Else, consider going another route.

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