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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Review - Amazon Prime

This may come as a surprise (not!) that I like Amazon.

I am fully signed up to Prime, and also have their Fire TV and a Kindle.  I don't (repeat - don't) have their phone and neither do I have an Amazon tablet.

I did consider the Fire HD, but I didn't want their version of Android!

So - for the last few years, I have paid my dues, and taken advantage of the goodness that comes with an Amazon Prime subscription.

What do you get for your hard-earned cash?

1.  Unlimited Free next day delivery.  That was their first offering, and it still stands.  However; even this is now being amended - if you accept a 3 day delivery, they'll credit you with £1 towards music! Seems a bit strange to me.  I'll let you into a secret.  This isn't always the cheapest way to buy something.  There could be cheaper prices on Amazon.  It's always worth a look.

2.  Prime Instant Video.  An all you can watch buffet of film and television.  This was launched to counter the Netflix effect.  In fact, Amazon are catching their competitor with more up-to-date films than ever before.  Plus, they offer their Amazon Original Pilot series.  The viewers have the power, using their comments and votes, to decide if a pilot episode of an Amazon Original should be granted a full series.  Genius.  What's more; we've seen some gems, and others are to follow.  Transparent is one such show; Mozart In The Jungle another.

3.  Prime Photos.  OK.  I admit; this isn't one I use a huge amount - mainly because I use Google for photo storage.  However, I can store unlimited numbers of photos in Amazon Cloud Drive, and it won't cost me a penny more.

4.  Kindle Owners' Lending Library.  This is actually pretty good; and I've used it quite a lot.  As a Kindle user, it's great to be able to borrow a book and once read, return it and borrow another.  There is a limit of one per month; so not a free-for-all; but a worthy part of the service.

What is hard to work out is whether the £79 annual fee is value for money.

At just over £6.60 per month, I have access to loads of good films and TV shows.  Delivery of my purchases don't cost extra (a hard one to quantify, as I don't purchase something every month!)  Photo storage doesn't mean much (to me).

A search on the internet suggests that the average price of an e-book is around £3.00. Multiply that by 12 and you can see that half the subscription covers the Kindle Library.

On average, a film rental online costs £3.50.  Just one a month = £42.

Therefore, for £1 short of the annual fee, I can watch 12 films and rent 12 books.  Of course, in reality; I can watch many more films, and catch up on TV series (Ripper Street anyone?)
One a week? More?  The value of Prime increases the more I watch.

Is Amazon Prime worth the subscription?  It's not for everyone, but it works out OK for me.
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