Which Amazon Services Are Worth the Money?
Amazon has become a household name due to its convenience and range of services. But with so many options for consumers, it can be hard to determine which services are worth the money. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at four Amazon services to help you make an informed decision.
Amazon Prime Video
An Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99 per month or $139 annually for an individual. It includes a Prime Video subscription, which you can also get separately for $8.99 per month. Prime Video offers original programming like the award-winning “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power”, as well as live “Thursday Night Football” and WNBA games.
Many shows that run on other networks eventually become available on Prime Video, as well, and it allows users to download offline, create multiple viewer profiles, and rent or buy movies and TV shows. You can also stack and manage other streaming services through your Prime membership, such as HBO Max, Starz and Showtime.
Competitor Netflix has long been a leader in both original and popular streaming content, with such award-winning and original shows as “Ozark” and “Beef”. PC Magazine ultimately declares Netflix the winner over Amazon by a hair because of “innovative features and awesome originals.” However, if you already have an Amazon Prime membership, you could save money on streaming entertainment by not paying for other memberships.
For either $14.99 per month or $139 per year, you can get an Amazon Prime subscription with free one- and two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of products and a great return policy. Amazon Prime offers discounts on its memberships to students, people with EBT cards, and people on Medicaid.
Walmart+ rolled out in 2020 is a bit cheaper than Prime at $12.95 per month or $98 per year. With this service, registered members can get free unlimited same-day grocery delivery from their local Walmart, free pickup of returned items from your home, free shipping on other non-grocery products without a minimum order, fuel savings on over 14,000 locations around the U.S., and the ability to earn Walmart rewards on every purchase. However, Amazon has a wider selection of products and doesn’t require a shopper to be local to get discounts. A Walmart+ user will have to do the bulk of all their shopping and gas purchases at Walmart to make the membership worthwhile, but if that is your primary place of shopping, it could be a great deal.
Ultimately, a Prime membership will save you money on all kinds of shipping (not to mention saving you trips to a physical store). So if you order frequently, it’s definitely worth it.
Audible is Amazon’s audiobook arm, where members get one book credit for $14.95 per month, which is often less than the cost of the book otherwise, and is redeemable for literally anything in the Audible database. Or, for $7.95 per month, listeners get access to a more limited selection of books, plus podcasts, sleep tracks and meditation tracks.
Competitor Scribd gives Audible a run for its money, and is available on all the same Apple or Android devices with a 30-day free trial. Scribd’s subscription is $11.99 per month, but rather than giving you only one credit, subscribers have unlimited access to the app’s wide database of books, magazines, podcasts and sheet music. The problem is that many bestsellers will take a while to become available, long after they are up on Audible. So as for which is better, it depends on how you’re using your service — to get the latest and greatest new releases.
Amazon Music Unlimited
Amazon Music Unlimited is a streaming music service that offers listeners access to more than 75 million songs. An individual membership costs $9.99 per month for individuals or $14.99 for a family membership, which allows up to six accounts. If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, you can get the service for $7.99 or $79 per year for a family membership, a significant discount.
Apple Music is a similar streaming service that offers listeners access to more than 75 million songs, as well as curated playlists and radio shows. The cost is the same as Amazon Music, at $9.99 per month for individuals or $14.99 for a family membership. An advantage of Apple Music is it is already built-in with iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices, but the family membership is capped at six people.
- Amazon Prime has more than 200 million subscribers worldwide as of April 2021.
- Amazon Prime Video won its first Emmy in 2015 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for “Transparent.”
- The audiobook industry has grown by over 25% since 2017, and Audible has over 600,000 titles in its database.
- Apple Music has over 60 million subscribers worldwide as of June 2019.
- Spotify, another popular streaming music service, has over 100 million paying subscribers as of December 2020.
- Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Prime are worth the money if you order frequently and make use of the streaming service regularly.
- Audible and Amazon Music Unlimited are a great deal if you are a regular listener, while Scribd and Apple Music might be better if you are looking for a wider music or audiobook selection.
- Consider your needs and usage patterns before committing to a paid service.
Amazon services offer a range of benefits, and whether or not they’re worth the money depends on your specific needs and usage patterns. Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Prime are both fantastic services if you order frequently and make use of the streaming service regularly. Audible and Amazon Music Unlimited are great deals if you are a regular listener, but other services like Scribd or Apple Music may work better for you if you have different needs. Ultimately, it’s important to assess your own needs before making a decision on which Amazon services are worth the money.