Bad news European Amazon Prime members. Just like American users some six months ago, European subscribers to Amazon Prime Video will be receiving a price hike soon. The Hollywood Reporter has found that in some European territories prices will rise by a whopping 40%.
Amazon Prime Video users in Europe received an email that no streaming subscriber wants to see, news of a price hike. The changes will be coming into effect on September 15th. The United Kingdom is getting the lightest treatment, with the monthly subscription to Amazon Prime Video rising 12.5% to £9 ($10.80) and the annual fee rising 20% to £95 ($114). German users will be paying 30% more for their annual fees with a price of €80.90 ($90.95). Back in March, Amazon Prime Video became a market leader in Germany, overtaking Netflix in the region and it will be interesting to see if the price hike will affect the streaming services standing in the nation. The users who are worse off are those living in France, subscribers will be paying 43% more, with annual fees jumping to €69.90 ($70.74).
Such sharp rises in prices on Amazon Prime Video have been cited for a myriad of reasons. The Financial Times reports that one such reason for Amazon’s increased pricing in Europe is down to inflation and a jump in operating costs. The price rises are also far more drastic than the ones American users faced, by a staggering 17%. Another reason is attributed to an increase in Amazon’s offering, including new television series and films. One of the biggest projects landing on Amazon Prime Video this year is The Rings of Power, a mega-budget extravaganza bringing audiences back to Middle Earth from September 2nd onwards.
The Rings of Power – which features the mighty Lord of the Rings villain Sauron in its latest trailer – has a rumored budget of $462 million for the first season alone and is expected to cost Amazon at least $1 billion in the long run. Such a monumental budget for just one product will more than likely be contributing to the Amazon Prime Video price jumps not only in the United States but now in Europe as well. However, last year IndieWire reported that Amazon was confident that the money spent on Rings of Power would be recuperated and defended the large investment, saying it was contributing to world-building and not just a filming budget for a debut season.
Inflation aside, figures continue to point toward content spending being the main factor behind the rise in prices for subscribers to Amazon Prime Video worldwide, let alone in Europe. Last year, the Independent reported that Amazon spent $13 billion on film, television and music content. This spend represented an 18% increase from 2020, which may have been impacted by the Covid-Pandemic, but is a sharp rise nonetheless. Be it inflation, or the huge content spending in recent times, Amazon Prime Video Subscribers will be hoping that the latter pays off with quality content for them to enjoy. If shows like The Rings of Power don’t deliver, Amazon might find that their price increases will see subscribers leave them behind.