Amazon is continuing to expand the benefits of its Prime membership as an acquisition and customer retention tool.  At this point for the company, Prime has become a critical program of theirs, currently covering over 60 percent of US Amazon shoppers.  These members spend almost 2 times as much annually as non-Prime members do.

Aside from the main benefit of free two-day shipping, there’s a growing list of free content available to Prime members.  This includes access to Amazon’s streaming video service, as well as the newest benefit, appearing to be access to some premium content within Alexa skills, according to a a TechCrunch report.

Amazon has begun to allow developers to implement a freemium model as a way to monetize skills.  Before, it shut down a third-party advertising effort from VoiceLabs in the form of “sponsored messages.”

Premium content with access for Prime members can help developers make money, which important for the health of the ecosystem.  It will possibly help (at the margins) with Prime member acquisition/retention.

Recently, it was revealed by a Lendedu survey that argues Prime member retention is solid, but perhaps not as high as we might have assumed.  1,00 current Prime members was asked by the company, a number of questions about the service.  These questions included whether they intended to renew their membership.  About three-quarters said yes.

But, about 29 percent questioned the value of Prim or were unsure whether it was worth it.

Prime members were also asked about price sensitivity.  At current price levels ($99), about 77 percent said they’d probably renew, although there’s some inconsistency in the responses.  At higher price level, $150 and above, the willingness to renew went down dramatically.  33 percent said they’d renew at $150.

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