The list of perks that come with being an Amazon Prime member just got longer--the company today that Prime now includes unlimited free photo storage in the Cloud.
The Seattle, Wash.-based online marketplace has been boosting its Prime service with more video streaming options and other features. The service, which costs $99 annually, offers two-day shipping on some 20 million items, a Kindle lending library and other perks.
While Amazon has never disclosed how many people subscribe to Prime, an analyst has estimated that the service has between 40 million and 50 million users, the reported. RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney additionally estimates that Prime subscribers spend as much as 2.3 times more than other customers.
Prime Photos rolls out just in time for the holiday season, Amazon Prime Vice President Greg Greeley noted.
"This time of year in particular, families are capturing thousands of photos of holiday parties, family gatherings and opening presents," Greeley said in a statement. "Prime has always allowed members to conveniently save time and save money, and now with Prime Photos they can save memories too."
Despite hiking the subscription to $99 from $79 earlier this year, Amazon Prime membership growth hasn't slowed, Greeley told the Times.
"We're continuing to see the trajectory," he said. "We don't even talk about [the price hike] inside. It's kind of forgotten. It's a nonevent."
When it comes to Amazon competitors, Microsoft also offers unlimited online photo storage through its Office 365 service, while Yahoo's Flickr service gives users a generous 1 terabyte of storage that is probably more than enough for the average user's storage needs.
Offering photo storage is a canny way to keep Amazon Prime members since photos have a substantially more emotional draw, the Times noted. Two-day shipping, Kindle book lending and video streaming don't hook users the way storing thousands of memorable photos on Amazon's servers will.