Larry Magid: Is Amazon Prime Membership Worth The Added Cost?

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An employee prepares order at Amazon's San Bernardino Fulfillment Center October 29, 2013 in San Bernardino, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

An employee prepares order at Amazon’s San Bernardino Fulfillment Center October 29, 2013 in San Bernardino, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Amazon.com is increasing the price of its Prime membership, from $79 to $99, the first price increase since the program was introduced in 2005.

Amazon Prime offers members two-day free shipping on millions of items, free access to thousands of streaming movies and TV shows, and a limited selection of book downloads. The price increase comes after Amazon had warned of the possibility back in January, citing rising fuel and shipping costs.

For current subscribers, the price increase will go into effect when they renew their membership.

And while shipping remains the most sought after benefit of Amazon Prime, company officials said they expect to continue to add more benefits for members. That could include adding more products eligible for the free two-day shipping, and improving the shipping process on the whole.

Amazon has also toyed with the idea of a music streaming service, gaming service, and even the possibility of an Amazon gaming console in the future, though it’s unclear if, and when any of these ideas might come to fruition.

Some analysts believe that could lead to future price hikes for the membership, as Amazon adds more services to the popular program.

You can hear Larry Magid’s Tech Report Monday through Friday at 3:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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