Amazon Prime has been around for a while now—15 years to be exact. The subscription service has continued to evolve over the last decade and a half, continually setting the standard for eCommerce subscriptions and delivery.
Prime membership continues to get better for customers year after year. And customers are responding—more people joined Prime this quarter than ever before, and we now have over 150 million paid Prime members around the world, and Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, and CEO in the company’s 2019 Q4 earnings report.
We made Prime delivery faster-the number of items delivered to U.S. customers with Prime free one-day and same-day delivery more than quadrupled this quarter compared to last year. Members now have free two-hour grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market is more than 2,000 U.S. cities and towns. Prime members watched double the hours of original movies and TV shows on Prime Video this quarter compared to last year, and Amazon Originals received a record 88 nominations and 26 wins at major awards show, Bezos continued.
A Timeline of Amazon Prime February, 2005
Amazon launched their Prime subscription in February of 2005 at the initial price point of $79 a year, offering unlimited 2-day delivery on over 1 million in-stock items
This was the beginning of what is now one of, if not the largest subscription programs in the world. Amazon continues to add benefits to its Prime offering, and here are some of the key ones that stood out to me over the years.
Amazon launched Fulfilled by Amazon. This service allows sellers to have an Amazon store and ship their products for a fee. These products then become eligible for Amazon Prime, thus growing available assortment and selection for customers.
Amazon included Prime Video in its Prime subscription. Amazon first introduced an internet video service in 2006 (Amazon Unbox) but added the perk of free access to “unlimited, commercial-free instant streaming of more than 5,000 movies and TV shows” to paying Prime members in February of 2011.
This was a big year for Amazon Prime. First, Amazon raised the price of Prime from $79 to $99. That same year, Amazon also launched Prime Pantry. Amazon Pantry offers Prime members a different way to shop, allowing them to purchase daily essentials in everyday sizes and have items delivered for a low, flat-rate fee in an Amazon Pantry box.
In 2014, Amazon announced early access to Lightning Deals for Prime Members. Lastly, Amazon launches Amazon Now in 2014. Amazon Now is a stand-alone app offering free two-hour delivery and one-hour delivery for $7.99 in select areas.
Amazon created Amazon Prime Day to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary. Prime Day offered Prime members exclusive deals on a wide range of products for 24 hours. The Prime Day event is so successful it becomes an annual tradition.
Amazon announced same-day delivery expanded to 27 metro areas. Amazon introduced Prime Reading. Prime Reading includes a rotating selection of more than 1,000 books and magazines that Prime members can read for free.
Amazon partnered with Chase on the launch of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. The credit card is offered exclusively to Prime members and offers 5% back at Amazon (and now Whole Foods) among other benefits.
Amazon announced a price increase for Prime from $99 to $119—the current price. An Amazon Prime subscription went from $79 in 2005, increasing by $40 over the last 15 years since Amazon offers the service.
Amazon expanded Prime Free One Day to members with no minimum purchase amount on more than ten million products.
Amazon offered Amazon Fresh as a free benefit of Prime. Prime members in select cities can shop for groceries, everyday essentials, and more with Amazon Fresh. Amazon Fresh is available exclusively to Amazon Prime members by invitation only.
This year, Amazon has expanded Same-Day Delivery. Prime members in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Orlando, and Dallas get faster Same-Day Delivery—from click to the doorstep in just a few hours. Although the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted distribution lines at the onset of the year, Amazon has mostly recovered in the months since, at least in the eyes of customers.
Amazon has also launched Prime Gaming (formerly Twitch Prime) this year. Through this service, Amazon Prime members receive free games, exclusive in-game loot, and a free subscription on Twitch tv.
We hope you learned some new Amazon Prime membership benefits you can take advantage of in our Amazon Prime timeline. Please feel free to reach out and let us know what features we may have missed.