Amazon India introduces monthly subscription for Prime membership service

Amazon India introduces monthly subscription for Prime membership service
Photo Credit: Reuters
22 Jun, 2018

E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. has rolled out a monthly subscription plan for its paid membership service ‘Amazon Prime’ in India.

Priced at Rs 129 a month, the subscription can currently be purchased only through debit and credit cards due to the auto-renew feature, the company said on its website.

The monthly subscription will be auto-renewed at the end of every 30 days via the payment method opted by the user. Users will be reminded of the upcoming renewal three days before the auto-renew is due, giving them the option to continue or cancel the service.

“We continue to look at different ways to make Prime accessible to more customers,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email response to VCCircle, while declining to delve into the details of the monthly subscription strategy.

Amazon launched Prime, its subscription service that includes faster deliveries and video streaming of international and Indian content, two years ago in India at an introductory offer price of Rs 499. Last year, it increased the annual membership fee for Prime to Rs 999.

The US-based retail giant added its music streaming service–Prime Music–to its subscription package, with no additional charges, in February this year.

Amazon has been talking up the success of Prime in India. At its most recent investor call, Amazon chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky said that Prime membership in India had even surpassed that of the US in the first year of the launch.

"In fact, more Prime members joined India's Prime program in the first year than we've seen in any other country in the history of the world, our world," Olsavsky said.

In March, the company appointed the head of rival Voot to lead its video streaming operations in India.

Still, Prime Video is a work in progress with the rights for popular films and TV shows—international, Hindi and regional—often lost to the likes of Netflix and Hotstar.

Amazon's video streaming service is looking to add more regional content in India as it competes with a host of global and local players for a bigger share of a fledgling online streaming market, Time Leslie, global vice president for Prime Video, told Reuters in March. 

In a little more than a year since launch in India, Amazon’s bet on original Hindi shows and a library of films in five local languages has paid off - India is the fastest-growing market for its Prime Video service, Leslie added.