My Amazon Prime membership needs to be renewed next month. I have been using it for 2 years, and pretty happy with it… though it’s been a close call. I don’t check books out, I don’t stream movies and TV. I really only use it for the free shipping. It has caused me to purchase a lot more, and a lot more spontaneously, from Amazon vs. other stores, but it hasn’t been a life changer.
Call me old fashioned, but I don’t like two completely disparate things – free shipping and online streaming – bundled into one account. Free shipping + extended warranty? Sure. Free shipping + bulk discount, or free shipping + discount on recurring shipments? Sure, that makes sense. But shipping and streaming are apples and oranges. No, they’re apples and snowplows. I know, I’m just old and unable to adapt.
Something else has been bothering me, and it is Amazon’s direction. I agreed with most of Amazon’s crazy schemes- the Kindle was to sell more books, the Fire stick was to sell more movies, even the Echo was to sell more stuff. “Alexa, put cumquats on my shopping list”. All of these devices, yes, even the Fire phone, were designed to drive people to the Amazon store. I get that. But now… now they’re producing their own content, in some crazy way to encourage circular business. Prime streaming gets people to buy Fire tablets and sticks, gets people to stream more, etc ad finitum. I could even sort of kind of get behind that.
But now I hear Amazon is going to release movies in theaters? Come on, now, Steve-I mean Elon-I mean-Jeff Bezos is feeling a bit megalomaniacal to me. The only purpose this serves is allowing Bezos to tell people at parties he is a Hollywood movie producer. I don’t like it, its too far out of their wheelhouse, and I worry about what Amazon will be looking like 12 months from now. They have always operated on VERY slim margins, putting everything into growth to increase their value. now growth has fallen off a cliff and the only thing they have to show for it is a failed phone and a barely functioning bluetooth speaker and drone prototypes that will NEVER pass through the FAA, and hollywood a movie production studio.
I worry about what Amazon will look like in 12 months. And $100 is a lot to spend on free shipping from a store who may no longer be competitive soon. Ill save my money and bide my time.