Amazon Prime was introduced in 2005 (that’s 17 years ago!) as a way to offer customers free two-day shipping on eligible items. The subscription service has continued to expand and evolve, setting industry standards and customer expectations on offerings, cost, delivery times, return policies, customer service, etc.
The service has since expanded to include unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows, ad-free music, exclusive deals, and more. Today, Amazon Prime is one of the most popular subscription services in the world.
History of Amazon Prime
When did Amazon Prime Start?
Amazon Prime subscriptions were first announced on February 2, 2005, and officially launched in the United States on April 17, 2005. At this date, Amazon Prime memberships first became available for purchase.
Amazon Prime membership started as a fairly basic service. Members were given unlimited 2-day delivery on over 1 million in-stock items, for an annual subscription fee of $79.
Amazon Prime started off slow with limited membership growth during the first years. After 2011, Prime started taking off, seeing substantial growth year over year. It now has more than 200 million members across 19 countries.
Over the years, Amazon has added a ton of new features and benefits to Prime. Today, Prime members enjoy a whole host of benefits, including free two-day shipping, Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Reading, and more. Amazon has also recently launched a new Prime program specifically for Whole Foods shoppers. This program, called Prime Now, offers free two-hour delivery on orders from Whole Foods.
Benefits of Prime
- Free Two-Day Shipping
- Free Same-Day Delivery in eligible zip codes
- Free Release-Date Delivery on eligible preorder items
- Free No-Rush Shipping.
- Amazon Day, where you can choose a weekly delivery day for the items you buy throughout the week.
- Prime Video: Unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes
- Amazon Music Prime: Ad-free music, 2 million songs
- Prime Reading
- Membership Sharing
- Amazon Photos
- Amazon Prime Day / Prime Member Sales Events
- Buy with Prime: Coming soon
While the benefits of Amazon Prime have changed and expanded over the years, one thing has remained constant: Prime members continue to save money on their orders. In fact, Amazon Prime members save an average of $100 per year on their shopping.
Over time Amazon Prime has changed its subscription prices. Amazon Prime members are given the option of paying $14.99 per month or $139 per year. Amazon Prime also currently offers a student discount of $7.49 per month or $69 per year.
Amazon Prime Today
- Amazon has over 200 million Prime members.
- Sales during Prime Day on Amazon reached $11.79 billion in 2021.
- Amazon Prime is available in 22 countries as of October 2021.
- Amazon registers $25.21 billion in annual revenue from retail subscription fees.
Today, Amazon Prime is one of the most popular subscription services, with over 200 million Amazon Prime subscribers around the world. Amazon has also reported that Prime delivers “$126 billion of value creation” due to time saved by customers using the service.
“When did Amazon Prime Start” Sources: