Amazon Prime raising monthly subscription costs by about 20%

Amazon Prime Video shown on its Fire TV interface.
Amazon Prime Video on Fire TV. (Amazon)

Just a few months after SVOD rival Netflix hiked its prices, Amazon Prime is raising the monthly subscription costs by about 20%.

The annual cost for Amazon Prime is staying where it is, but subscribers paying on a monthly basis will see their rates jump from $10.99 per month to $12.99 per month, up about 18%. The monthly student rate is also increasing, from $5.49 to $6.49 per month. The new rates will kick in starting Feb. 18, 2018.

As CNET pointed out, the $99 per year rate ($49 per year for students) is staying the same, along with the price customers using government aid pay.

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Memberships that only offer access to Amazon Prime Video will remain at $8.99 per month.

From a purely SVOD standpoint, Amazon’s biggest competitor is Netflix and Amazon’s price hike comes shortly after Netflix raised its own rates. In October last year, Netflix announced that it was raising prices for its standard service from $9.99 to $10.99 per month, and the price of its premium tier from $11.99 to $13.99 per month.

RELATED: Netflix is raising prices for its standard and premium tiers

Of course, an Amazon Prime membership offers more than just access to Amazon Prime Video.

“Prime provides an unparalleled combination of shipping, shopping and entertainment benefits, and we continue to invest in making Prime even more valuable for our members,” the company said in a statement. “The number of items eligible for unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping increased in recent years from 20 million to more than 100 million items. We have expanded Prime Free Same-Day and Prime Free One-Day delivery to more than 8,000 cities and towns. We also continue to introduce new, popular and award-winning Prime Originals ... Members also enjoy a growing list of unique benefits like Prime Music, Prime Reading, exclusive products and much more.”

And Netflix’s and Amazon’s original content budgets aren’t on the same levels. In 2017, Netflix spent an estimated $6 billion on original content and Amazon spent an estimated $4.5 billion. In 2018, Netflix could spend as much a $8 billion.

Amazon ended 2017 with about 60 million Prime subscribers in the U.S. Netflix, meanwhile, is expected to have about 54 million U.S. subscribers when it reports its fourth-quarter earnings on Monday.

This article was updated to mention $8.99 Amazon Prime Video-only memberships, which will not change in price.

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