Amazon Prints is the latest service from the Seattle-based retail and technology giant. It allows you to physically print your digital photos and also create photo books.
Simultaneously, Amazon has removed the $12 Unlimited Photos option from its site and is urging its members via email to opt for the $60 unlimited storage plan on Amazon Drive. They have also been given free trials of the Amazon Drive service where they can continue to store their photos for free for the duration of the trial period.
Amazon Prints is available to users of Amazon Drive, and photo orders exceeding $15 will be shipped for free. The service costs 9 cents per photo print and $20 for a photo book, and the site also shows that users can print calendars and other stationery as long as they have their photos saved on Amazon Drive or are currently using Prime Photos.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Amazon’s key competitor in this space, Shutterfly, lost 12% in stock value after the announcement of Amazon Prints. That’s understandable because if you’re an Amazon Prime member who uses either Prime Photos or Amazon Drive, you’re not going to need an independent service for photo printing.
That’s bad news for Shutterfly, but great news for Prime members who regularly take photo prints as keepsakes or to send to friends and relatives during special occasions. The timing of the launch is also significant because it’s right at the beginning of the holiday season when the photo printing industry typically peaks every year.
Amazon is now entering so many areas that they have never encroached on before. They’re streaming live video sports programming, they’re rapidly increasing Prime Video content to compete with Netflix, they’re doing a test drive deal with Hyundai where Amazon.com visitors can book an appointment with Hyundai for a home-delivery test drive for the new Elantra 2016, Prime Now for quick grocery and restaurant deliveries and much, much more.
In fact, we know that Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos wants to add so much value to Amazon Prime memberships that, as he says:
“You’d be irresponsible not to be a member.”
And that’s the way Amazon is rolling, introducing perk after perk – some free, some paid – and gradually building their revenue streams to offset the high expenditure they incur every year on shipping products for their core retail platform.
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Every time they introduce a new service, Prime members benefit the most because it just adds to the plethora of options members have. And they will keep adding more and more stuff, of that you can be certain. They’re already looking into launching a standalone music streaming service independent of Prime Music, and they’ve also launched an automobile hub where its users can compare cars before buying them. They’re not selling cars themselves, but they are offering a convenient way to comparison-shop.
There’s lots more to come from the house of Amazon, and we’ll report everything as soon as we get wind of it so you’ll be the first to know.
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