Amazon announced that the price of its Prime membership will rise for US customers on its earnings call Thursday. Starting May 11, 2018, new Prime customers in the US will pay $119 annually for their memberships and Prime Student customers will pay $59 annually. Existing Prime and Prime Student members will see their annual payments increase starting June 16, 2018.
Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky made the announcement on the call, citing more Prime features and increasing costs as the reasons for the price hike. The online retailer has added a lot of new features to Prime over the past few years, including unlimited Prime Video streaming, free two-hour delivery in select areas, ad-free Twitch viewing when you link your account, special deals for Whole Foods customers, and more.
This price increase comes four years after the last—Amazon raised the price of a Prime membership from $79 to $99 back in 2014. Those who pay for Prime monthly will continue to pay $12.99 per month, which comes out to about $156 per year. That price rose from $10.99 earlier this year as well.
In a recent letter to shareholders, CEO Jeff Bezos disclosed that Amazon now has 100 million Prime members. It’s possible that some existing members, unhappy with the rising cost of Prime, will choose not to renew their memberships. But Amazon is likely hoping that the Prime perks will continue to attract new members—those who won’t know a Prime price lower than $119.
Amazon also noted on its earnings call that the company’s net income increased to $1.6 billion for the first three months of this year, more than doubling its net income for the same time last year.