Amazon Prime often seems like an amorphous service. The perks that accompany this $99 annual membership affect how quickly your packages arrive, the types of digital entertainment you can buy, and how you store content online. Amazon has recently added unlimited photo storage to its Cloud Drive service, which is a centralized storage system for your Amazon digital purchases. But how do the Amazon Prime features all tie together? If you’re thinking about whether Amazon Prime fits into your future, here are three major themes to guide your decision.
This is the Prime feature that is unmatchable by any other online retailer so far. Prime members get two-day shipping for free on qualifying products, and if you shell out a few extra dollars, you can get same-day shipping for $5.99, according to the company’s Shipping Benefits page. Amazon is so economically influential that they have made a significant impact on the way the United States Postal Service operates. Back in July, USPS rolled out Sunday deliveries in an unprecedented partnership with Amazon. The Wall Street Journal scrutinized this extremely surprising contract, and discovered that this Sunday delivery partnership will last for at least five years. Also, there’s that exciting news that third-party retailers are jumping on board with Prime shipping.
Digital Content Access
Prime Instant Video is one of the most well-known features, especially since you can trace its history back to the 2006 launch of Amazon Unbox, which allowed customers to “download DVD-quality picture movies or television shows to their PC,” according to the company’s press release. This service has since grown to encompass 40,000 films and shows, making it a serious contender as a streaming content provider. Amazon’s access to licensed content from HBO and its own variety of exclusive TV shows distinguish it from competitors like Netflix and Hulu.
This feature runs parallel to the iCloud and on-demand purchase downloads that Apple’s customers have access to on iOS devices. Amazon’s extensive range of digital content — radio, music, video, and Kindle books — create a gateway for customers to try Prime’s cloud features. The photo backup feature recently added to Prime’s roster of cloud services is similar to other photo backup initiatives we’ve seen from Dropbox, Apple, and Google.
Amazon Prime serves as an umbrella for many types of services that might not seem connected at first glance. If you’re thinking about leaping into a Prime membership, then first consider your shipping, entertainment, and cloud storage needs carefully. While some of Amazon’s premium offerings mirror existing services provided by other tech companies, some users can get the most for their money by consolidating everything under a Prime membership.