I’ve had my Amazon account for 10 years. In that whole time, I’ve never subscribed for a Prime membership despite all of the tempting offers Amazon’s made. This year I caved. I finally needed something so soon that it made sense to get Prime, but not soon enough that buying next day shipping made sense. In agreeing to subscribe I decided I would make the most of my new Amazon Prime membership though and really make sure that I got my $100 worth of value from it.
Most people don’t really know all the benefits of Amazon Prime. There are five different benefits, but most just know the service as free two-day shipping. Granted, that is still the best benefit, but if I want to make sure I get my money’s worth from Amazon Prime I figured I should try all five.
Amazon’s movie streaming service is okay. Granted, I did kind of want to see The Man in the High Castle, but I didn’t particularly want to spend $100 to do so. Most of the other movies available for streaming are the same as the ones I can get from Netflix. I did see a handful of movies available on Amazon that Netflix didn’t have, but I assume Netflix will eventually move to 100% original content so this will be less of an issue.
Amazon Prime also allows for book lending! That’s something I will certainly use. They have a huge library of books that you can borrow, however you’re limited to one per month. I have two libraries hooked up to my iPad and regularly check out books through them both. On occasion there will be something I want to read that isn’t available in either library so having Amazon Prime around could be useful. It’s also nice to know that the author’s of the ebook’s I’m renting will be paid a small amount of money when I check out their book. It’s something small like $2, but that’s still something.
Amazon Prime also has a music streaming service! I had to clean up my phone so I would actually have the space for the app…it’s a bit large. They offer streaming of albums from their library, which is pretty extensive, as well as pre-made channels of music by genre similar to say Pandora or Spotify. I haven’t come across any limits with it yet, but I image there must be.
Amazon Photo. I’ll be honest. I’m not going to use this. It seems mildly embarrassing that Amazon would even think someone needs a place to store photos in this day in age. Those who don’t have their own hard drives have already found cloud storage options like dropbox, box, or even google drive. I don’t see anything in particular that stands out as unique or interesting about this benefit so I’m skipping it. Let me know if you think there is something of value there and I’ll revisit though.
Anyway, if you’re not an Amazon Prime member and you’re thinking about joining you might want to give the free trial a shot. If you order fairly regularly from Amazon the free two day shipping will be nice and you just might be able to get some added value out of the other four services offered. Okay at least three, nobody is going to use that photo service. At the end of the day, it’s about as expensive as a Netflix account for the year and it’s got a bit more upside.