This will be the first price increase in the beloved service since it was introduced in 2005. Amazon highlighted in its email to customers that when the free two-day shipping service was first announced, the number of eligible items to be shipped for free has grown from 1 million to 20 million.
In addition, the company highlighted in its announcement the service has also grown to include the Amazon Prime Instant Video service, which now allows for the free streaming of television episodes and movies numbering more than 40,000, and its Kindle Owners' Lending Library includes access to more than half a million books which are eligible to be borrowed.
Amazon noted it will also be increasing the discounted price of its Amazon Student membership, which allows college students free prime service for six months, and will now charge $49 per year versus the previous $39 per year. The company allows students to keep the membership for four years, or their graduation date, whichever comes first.
The company noted it will begin rolling out the increased renewal prices to Amazon Prime members in a little over one month. Members whose Prime service renews before April 17, 2014 will be charged $79 annual fee, and those whose membership is eligible for renewal after the 17th will see the new $99 price increase.