Some Amazon Prime customers in Europe are about to see the cost of their subscription rise by 43%.
According to Reuters, Amazon Prime members in the U.K., for example, have been told the annual fee will increase from 79 British pounds to £95, marking a 20% hike, while the monthly fee will rise from £7.99 to £8.99. Customers in Germany will see a 30% rise in the Prime fee to 89.90 euros, marking a 30% increase on the current annual fee, while Prime members in France face a 43% hike that will push their annual fee of 49 euros to 69.90 euros. Customers in Italy and Spain are also facing similarly steep increases.
The new fees will come into effect in September when existing members renew their contracts, or when people sign up for the first time.
Amazon put the higher fees down to rising inflation increasing the costs to run the service, though it pointed out how Prime has improved over time with faster delivery, and more movies and TV shows on the streaming element of its service.
The increase follows a similar hike announced for U.S. subscribers in February when the online shopping giant upped its annual fee by $20 to $139, and its monthly fee by $2 to $15.
Amazon has started emailing customers to inform them of the new subscription prices.
In the U.K., where Amazon is thought to operate nearly 20 million Prime accounts, it wrote in the email: “After laying out the new fees, the company wrote: “We continue to focus on making Prime even more valuable for members … During this time, we have significantly increased the number of products available with unlimited, fast Prime delivery; added and expanded ultra-fast fresh grocery delivery; and added more high-quality digital entertainment, including TV, movies, music, games, and books. Prime Video in particular has increased the number of TV series and movies on offer, including Amazon Originals, as well as live sports coverage, such as the Premier League [soccer] and [rugby’s] Autumn Nations Series.”
The e-commerce behemoth also noted in the email that the hike is the first for U.K. Prime subscribers since 2014.
Amazon isn’t the only online service increasing its fees in the wake of recent inflationary pressures. Netflix and Apple Music for students, for example, have both hit customers with higher charges this year. As always, the challenge is placing the new fee in a sweet spot that maintains existing subscribers while still being attractive enough to win new ones.
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