Blog Post

Amazon raises price of Prime in U.K. and Germany as it rolls in Lovefilm streaming video

Stay on Top of Emerging Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Amazon (s AMZN) is rolling together its Prime and Lovefilm Instant services in the U.K. and Germany. Starting February 26, U.K. and German Prime members will be able to stream movies and TV shows as part of their Prime memberships, just as they can in the U.S.

As a result of the rollup, the prices of a Prime membership in the U.K. and Germany will increase to £79 (USD $131) and €49 ($67) per year, respectively — though customers who sign up for a trial by February 26 will be able to lock in a price of £49 ($81) in the U.K. or €29 ($40) in Germany for their first year. Previously, Amazon had charged £49 per year for a U.K. Prime membership or €29 per year for a German Prime membership that included unlimited one-day shipping and access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Meanwhile, a Lovefilm Instant subscription had cost £5.99 or €4.99 per month, with access to about 15,000 movies and TV episodes in the U.K. and 12,000 in Germany.

Lovefilm Instant members who don’t want the fast shipping and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library will have the option to just keep paying £5.99 per month for video, the Guardian notes. (By contrast, U.S. Amazon customers can’t get an Instant Video-only subscription.) Existing U.K. and German Prime members won’t see a price increase until their subscription renews.

Lovefilm also offers a DVD shipping service, “Lovefilm by Post,” that will continue to operate.

The changes come at a time when Amazon is considering increasing the price of a Prime membership in the U.S. by somewhere between $20 and $40. In the U.S., Prime has cost $79 per year since its launch nine years ago.

Amazon bought out Lovefilm in 2011.

This post was updated Friday morning to reflect that the changes are taking place in Germany as well.

14 Responses to “Amazon raises price of Prime in U.K. and Germany as it rolls in Lovefilm streaming video”

  1. Gorn61

    That reads like you just believed the Amazon press release that wants to neatly segment customers between “streaming” and “by post”.

  2. This totally sucks. Amazon has made no effort to consider the full impact of this decision. As a Prime subscriber of many years now I have purchased literally hundreds of items from them. As a non-rural dweller I have a lousy broadband service which is considered by BT Openreach as non-viable for upgrade, so consequently streaming video is not likely to be an option for many many years to come.
    I am not one to subsidise others, so consequently from next year I will no longer subscribe to Prime. All books will once again be purchased in high street stores and other electronic goods, movies etc will come from the likes of Ebuyer, Box, Play etc because I will remove Amazon from my options.
    Frankly, I hope they suffer greatly from this poorly considered move.

  3. My current conversation…

    You’re now connected to Jewel Grace from

    Me:Hi, I’ve just recieved an email today that as of tomorrow my Prime Membership will be increasing from £49 to £79 because I have to accept a new TV service that is being attached to the Amazon Prime product. I don’t want anything but the Prime postal service product. Can you help please?

    Jewel Grace:Hello. Thank you for choosing Amazon Chat, my name is Jewel.

    Jewel Grace:Hi, thank you for your query. Let me check this for you.
    The new Prime membership will include Prime Instant Video, and unlimited One-Day Delivery. I’m afraid that we currently do not have the option to continue with Prime without the live streaming. However, when we launch this in April, you may try this free of charge, until your renewal on Wednesday, 30 July 2014.

    Me:Why is there no option? Why am I being forced to accept a product that I do not want?
    I signed up for a shipping service not a Video Streaming service. they’re completely unrelated products.

    Jewel Grace:Unfortunately, at the moment, we are unable to offer the option on the website yet. I do apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. Rest assured, I have already forwarded your concern to our business team on your behalf.

    Me:That’s not good enough. My concern is that of principle. I’m sure many other existing members must be complaining and considering cancelling as this isn’t the product we ahve been using for years.

    Jewel Grace:I understand your concern. However I’m afraid the option is not available. If you do not want to proceed, you can cancel the membership by 30 Jul 2014 – this is when you will be charged the new fee of GBP 79.

    Me:You have successfully lost my business through being obstinate while trying to extort more money from me by attaching an unrelated product to a service that was functioning well enough. Feel free to have a look at my purchase to see how much of an impact losing me and others like me as an Amazon customer will have.

    Jewel Grace:Please understand that we would never want to disappoint a valued customer like you. We always endeavor to assist our customer with the best of our service so we can ensure that we fulfill all of their needs, however sometimes we fail to do so due to factors out of our control. I am truly sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you.
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please rest assured that your feedback has been forwarded.
    Is there anything else I can assist you with for now?

    Me:Nothing for now and there wall be nothing else going forward 30th July 2014 unless a change is made to this additional forced service.

    Jewel Grace:Thank you for using Amazon chat. If that is all, you may click the “End Chat” link to close this window.

    Completely unwilling to change. Maybe they want EA’s crown of worst company of the year?

    • Huge dissatisfaction expressed in the customer forums. I was both an existing Prime customer, and a Lovefilm customer, so I already had both services and my Prime renewal in April actually stays at £49 for another 12 months. At the switch they reduced my LF subs by £6pm so I’m actually better off. On some Samsung TV’s they broke the app when they switched and paid us compo.

      AS a result, I and many others, are now using Netflix. It’s unlikely I’ll renew Prime at the higher amount, and if I don’t have Prime delivery, I’ll buy less.

      Huge own goal.

      Oh, and just the same as LF, their streaming service only works on their own kit, plus iDevices. Not on the world’s biggest selling mobile devices. No such walled garden on Netflix.

  4. David Beayon

    don’t forget that you can share the Prime shipping with up to 4 people. If cost is really an issue with retaining your prime membership, then look to share the love(and cost). Amazon knows that a $25 dollar increase will hit some hard, but they also know even at $100/year there will still be many subscribers that stay – or return very quickly the first time that someone needs to order from them.