Amazon.com, Inc. is really trying to get more people to sign up for Prime. It was recently discovered that the retail giant is restricting access to certain games and films for non-Prime members. So, if you want to buy a specific game or movie then you will have to sign up for its ultra popular Prime service.
Some Amazon.com, Inc. Games, Films are Prime-Only
Are you interested in buying a Blu-ray copy of any of the recent biggest blockbuster films? What about some of the video games, like “GTA 5 or “Far Cry Primal”? If you haven’t subscribed to Amazon Prime then you may not be able to buy any of these products at all. The website has started to restrict sales of some its items to non-Prime customers.
It was noticed first by VideoGamer over the weekend that an array of video games were exclusive to Prime members. The items continue to be available by third-party sellers. Other websites started to note that buying pictures like “Birdman” or “Interstellar” wasn’t an option if you were not a Prime member.
What’s interesting about this ordeal is that many of the titles that were restricted were later available to the general public soon after. Is this an experiment or a new permanent feature? In any event, it’s becoming obvious that Amazon is placing more and more game and movie titles behind its Prime paywall.
The London Guardian was told by an Amazon spokesperson that a benefit of becoming a Prime member is “access to exclusive selection on a number of great products.”
It seems, for now anyway, that the restriction has only been seen on Amazon.com, and not on other international Amazon domains.
A wave of websites have embraced the exclusivity concept. As Amazon, Hulu and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) produce their own shows, consumers can only view them on those websites. This is why many observers are surprised that Amazon would restrict a non-Amazon product. The upside could be seen for third-party sellers, who may receive an increase in business as some customers may continue to refuse to sign up for Prime.
Amazon.com, Inc Placing All Bets on Prime
If you haven’t noticed, Amazon.com, Inc. is placing all of its bets on its Prime service.
Since its first launch a few years ago, Prime membership has become one of its biggest revenue drivers. After just offering free unlimited next-day delivery, it has delved into offering unlimited access to ebooks, music and video, online photo storage and even grocery service. Will exclusivity be next?
All of this costs $99 a year, or $10.99 per month. This service and price-tag has allowed Prime to create its own ecosystem. Essentially, Amazon Prime has turned into a juggernaut.
With around 50 million subscribers, Amazon.com, Inc. has a lot more room for growth. The website has about 250 million customers worldwide. By placing certain popular products behind a paywall, Amazon could prompt a considerable number of users to sign up for Prime. Amazon is known for cheaper prices and maintaining a huge share of the market. This means if you want a cheaper price on a certain product then you will have to sign up for Prime.
Following the news of this move, many have started likening the website to Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) or Sam’s Club memberships. You simply join a program to save money and access an array of items. And these companies are doing very well.
If there is a permanent paywall to many of its products, will you join Prime?