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Amazon Raises Prime Monthly Charges by $2

Amazon is raising the monthly fee for its Prime service – which offers customers free two-day shipping of products as well as streaming video and music – by 18% to $12.99, adding that annual subscriptions for the service will remain at the $99 price point.

The move comes about two years after Amazon first made the monthly Prime subscription option available, mostly for customers who could not afford the annual charge. News of the rate hike was first reported by Recode.

The price increase for new customers becomes effective today (Jan. 19). For existing customers the increases will occur on Feb. 18.

Prime members get free two-day or less shipping on more than 100 million products from the online retailer, as well streaming video from Amazon Prime Video, streaming music from Amazon Prime Music and ebooks from Amazon Reading.

In a statement the company said Prime continues to be a tremendous value for customers and that the company will “keep introducing new ways to make members' lives even better."

Amazon recently jettisoned a handful of original programs from its Prime Video lineup – including One Mississippi, I Love Dick and Jean-Claude Van Johnson. Some analysts have speculated the company is trying to shed its indie video image and develop a blockbuster TV hit.

According to reports, Amazon has about 90 million Prime members.