The value of Amazon Prime’s services, plus a look at alternatives

Amazon Prime has become a very successful premium offering for online retail giant Amazon. For $119/year ($59/year for students), or $12.99/month ($6.49/month for students), Prime subscribers receive access to a sizable number of services. That’s on top of its primary advertised benefit, faster shipping.

JP Morgan ran a study that concluded that all of Prime’s services, if bought from other rival companies, makes Prime worth $784 in value. The infographic below outlines their breakdown of each Prime service’s value.

Infographic
Infographic by Statista (CC BY-ND)

Of course, Amazon’s goal is to encourage using its site for one’s shopping needs as much as possible. Given Amazon dominates online shopping, Prime’s obviously viewed by Jeff Bezos as a success.

But what about alternatives to Amazon Prime’s various services? I’ve listed some alternatives in each category below.

Prime Now

Prime Now is a service that offers extra-speedy item delivery. Subscribers get free two-hour delivery on certain products (including from local stores/restaurants), or one-hour delivery for an extra $7.99 fee.

Alternatives: There’s other delivery services, though mainly grocery-related ones (such as Instacart). That said, if physically possible, it’d seem easier (and likely cheaper) to just go to a store and buy the needed item. (Granted, in my case, there’s a grocery store within walking distance of my house.)

Additionally, various grocery store chains are also now offering grocery delivery.

Prime Video

I’ve written previously about Prime Video, and compared it to rival services.

Alternatives: Netflix, Hulu, and various specialized services (such as Boomerang for classic cartoons, or CBS All Access for the latest “Star Trek” series).

Prime Reading/other ebook services

Amazon Kindle Fire
Flickr photo by Zhao (CC BY)

Prime Reading offers a d of ebooks. While not mentioned, Amazon also owns Comixology, the dominant digital comics store.

Alternatives: For digital comics, see my previous post on the subject. For ebooks, one source is your local public library, where you can check out ebooks for free (with your library card).

Prime Delivery

The core Prime service, Prime Delivery offers two-day shipping of products.

Alternatives: Walmart and Target both offer free two-day shipping on any order totaling $35 or more, without any membership fee required. Such big box stores also offer the ability to place orders online, and then pick them up at any physical location, unlike Amazon.

Twitch Prime

Twitch Prime offers extra features on top of regular Twitch, the Amazon-owned live video streaming service popular with gamers.

Alternatives: There’s various live video streaming services, though many aren’t video game-specific. Twitch seems dominant in this particular area.

Prime Music

Prime Music is Amazon’s answer to Spotify and Apple Music.

Alternatives: Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music/YouTube Music, among other music services.

Audible for Prime

Audible is the dominant audiobook service online, which Amazon bought in 2008.

Alternatives: Public libraries now offer audiobooks for checkout for free (with a library card).

Prime Photos

Prime Photos offers online backup and storage of photos.

Alternatives: I like using Google Photos for my online photo storage and backup. There’s also still Flickr, which is now non-Yahoo-owned for the first time in years.

If anyone has any other Amazon service alternatives to suggest (or correct anything I missed), feel free to list them in the comments below.

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