Providing a dim and tepid hope that Jeff Bezos might someday have so much money that he will finally be able to blast off from this dumb old planet for good, leaving the rest of us to the peace of our scraps, Amazon announced today that it’s jacking up the price of its Prime service by $20 a year. That’ll bring the annual price for the service—which includes both access to the company’s Prime Video offerings, as well as a variety of deals on shipping—up to $139 a year.
Reported by Deadline, the Amazon price increase comes as a number of its streaming competitors, most notably Netflix, have continued their in-depth research into figuring out how high a streaming service’s price can go before there’s actual open revolt from consumers. (Netflix recently announced plans to bump its premium plan up to $20 a month, cementing its place as one of the most expensive on the U.S. market.)
Prime’s a little trickier to value out than some of its rivals, since you do actually get something for it beyond access to Reacher and Jack Ryan and all your other airport lit favorites. (Of course, the value of reduced shipping costs begins with the assumption that you’re okay being a cog in the Amazon ecosystem in the first place.) The company is continuing to expand its programming, too, most notably by incorporating more sports broadcasts, and by continuing to wave the specter of its Lord Of The Rings show—currently scheduled for a September 2022 release—to remind consumers that a hobbit’s got to eat, right?
Amazon’s stock price shot up after news of the planned increase, because of course it did. The price increase will go into effect for new customers on February 18; existing Prime subscribers will see it on their bills on March 26. The company last did a Prime increase—also for $20 a year—back in 2018.