Sprint Teams With Amazon To Offer Monthly Prime Subscription, But It’s A Poor Bargain
Seems like a strange partnership, doesn't it? I'll admit there's a certain convenience to consolidating two separate payments (mobile phone and Amazon Prime) into a single monthly bill. There's also the benefit of spreading out your Amazon Prime membership fee into monthly chunks, and that seems to be the angle Sprint is pitching, along with how well Amazon Prime's supplementary services pair with mobile.
"Amazon Prime is another example of the innovative options that Sprint delivers every day to its customers," said Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO. "With this monthly add-on, Sprint customers will have great flexibility and will have the opportunity to easily access Amazon’s full entertainment package on America’s fastest LTE network."
Amazon is equally stoked about the partnership.
"We know customers love shopping on their mobile devices and having access to entertainment at their fingertips while on the go or at home – so we’re excited to team up with Sprint to introduce this special Prime offer," said Jeff Blackburn, senior vice president-Amazon Business Development. "With the convenience of Amazon Prime, Sprint customers can enjoy popular movies and TV shows, including award-winning Amazon Originals like Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, and Tumble Leaf, and access to more than a thousand Prime Playlists or Stations with Prime Music."
Hey, good for them, though there's two reasons I'm not all that excited about this. The first is the long-term cost. While $10.99 per month is a manageable sum for many people, that works out to $131.88 over the course of a year. That's a 33 percent up-charge over Amazon Prime's regular $99 annual fee, which doesn't take into consideration the free 30-day trial offered to new Amazon Prime members. And if you're a student, Amazon Prime runs just $49 annually with a six-month free trial.
The second reason I'm not particularly geeked about this announcement is because Sprint missed an opportunity to one-up its competitors. Instead of just offering Amazon Prime as a monthly add-on, why not make its streaming services (music and video) not count against customers' data caps? T-Mobile's doing something similar with its Binge On program, and Sprint's partnership with Amazon could have made things interesting, but falls short.
In any event, the Amazon Prime add-on is now available to new and existing Sprint customers—if you're interested you can sign up online here, call Sprint, or visit your local Sprint store.