If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, the price for unlimited free two-day shipping, access to its streaming video library, and its Kindle lending library, will go up to $99 a year. Amazon announced today that customers will see the price of their annual Prime subscription go up from $79, which the program has cost since it was rolled out in 2005.
The move was telegraphed earlier this year by Amazon Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak, who said in a conference call with analysts following the company's earnings announcement that Amazon was "considering" increasing the price of a Prime subscription by somehwere between $20 and $40 due to "increased cost of fuel and transportation" as well as high utilization by existing customers. Today's announcement is on the low end of the range, a 25% price increase.
The famously secretive retailer has never revealed how many Prime subscribers it has — one analyst earlier this year said it was 20 million. Amazon's price increase for Prime comes after a dissappointing holiday season, while the company had sales of $25.59 billion, a 20% jump from the year, it was slightly below what analysts were expecting, while their earnings per share of 51 cents was well below the 66 cents expected by analysts. In early trading, the company's stock is up almost 3% to $381.58.