Amazon Prime Adds $7.99/Month Option, Gives Netflix the Stink Eye

Amazon isn't making a big deal out of its new $7.99/month Amazon Prime subscription plan, but clearly the online retailer has competing services like Netflix and Hulu Plus in its sights. Amazon Prime, if you're not already familiar with it, is a membership program that runs $79 annually in exchange for free two-day shipping on millions of items with no minimum order size, a Kindle book to borrow for free each month from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, and unlimited instant streaming to thousands of movies and TV show via Prime Instant Video.

Any kid with a calculator or understanding of simple math can figure out that $7.99 per month works out to nearly $96 annually ($95.88, if you're not a fan of rounding up), so it actually costs more to go with a monthly plan. However, just as with grocery shopping, buying in bulk doesn't always make sense for all families, even when there are long-term financial benefits to doing so. For some, forking over $8 a month is easier to budget than paying a lump sum for 12 months in advance.

Amazon Prime

Even with the pricing premium for a monthly plan, this is still a good deal. It costs the same as Netlix and Hulu Plus, but unlike either of those services, there are other benefits that only Amazon can offer. On the flip side, Amazon Prime's catalog isn't as extensive as either Netflix or Hulu Plus, so there's your tradeoff.

It's unclear if the monthly subscription plan will stick or not. There have also been reports that not everyone is seeing the monthly option. If that's the case, you can try clearing your cookies/cache or fire up a different browser.