Sprint and Amazon have inked a deal that lets Sprint customers subscribe to Amazon Prime for $10.99 per month as an add-on to their cellular service plans.
While the deal does give Sprint subs an option to pay for Amazon Prime on a monthly basis, it will end up costing more than a traditional annual subscription to Amazon Prime, which includes access to the Prime Video and Prime Music library and free two-day shipping, if they end up paying month-to-month for a full year.
Amazon Prime’s annual rate is $99, but a paying on a monthly basis via the Sprint-Amazon deal will run $131.88 over 12 months.
Sprint and Amazon said the option offers another level of convenience while giving customers more flexibility on how they can subscribe to Amazon Prime.
“Amazon Prime is another example of the innovative options that Sprint delivers every day to its customers,” said Marcelo Claure, Sprint’s CEO, in a statement. “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.”
Parks Associates, meanwhile, believes the partnership is a good fit in part because more video streaming is happening on smartphones, the arrangement could reduce churn for Sprint, and because Amazon gains a new channel for attracting Prime subs.
According to Parks Associates, 86% of U.S. broadband homes also own a smartphone, and 60% of U.S. homes have at least one OTT video service subscription. About 71% of smartphone owners watch short video clips, and spend 24 minutes, on average, watching them, and 40% watch longer videos – such as TV or movies – at least once per day.
“Sprint’s new move reflects a diverging trend in mobile operators’ data plan strategy: for operators with limited access to content, they prefer bundling attractive OTT content and unique offerings with mobile data services to attract new users or retain existing customers,” Harry Wang, director of research at Parks Associates, said in a statement. “Whereas larger operators with their own content license deals, such as Verizon and AT&T, will offer their own OTT content services directly to consumers.”