Amazon began as a bookseller before becoming a purveyor of all things. In addition to the "stuff" it sells, Amazon offers a fair number of services and subscriptions. The big one, of course, is Amazon Prime. That $119-per-year service offers and .
But the services and subscriptions below are offered separate and above Prime (though are often discounted for Prime members). Before you sign up for any of them, however, keep in mind thatis coming, likely around the middle of July. We expect many of these services to go on sale at that time.
Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the services featured on this page.
It's like Spotify but for books. For $9.99 a month, Kindle Unlimited lets you read or listen to a limitless number of books. It gives you access to more than 1 million books and thousands of audiobooks with Audible narration. In between books, you can also read a selection of magazines with Kindle Unlimited. It's a great service if you take your Kindle with you wherever you go, but you can also use the Kindle app on an iPad and other mobile devices. The drawback? You'll need to wait to read the latest releases, since they they are seldom on the virtual shelves of the Kindle Store.
For those who prefer to listen to their literature, Audible is the leading supplier of audiobooks. Unlike Kindle Unlimited, an Audible subscription includes a finite number of books each month. There are two Audible Subscription options. The Gold plan costs $14.95 per month, and the Platinum plan costs $22.95 a month (each plan offers a discounted annual rate). With the Gold plan, you earn one credit per month, while the Platinum plan nets you two credits a month. One credit = one audiobook. You can roll over credits for up to 12 months, and if your reading has outpaced your credits, then you can take advantage of Audible's 30-percent discount on additional audiobooks. Also, both plans include two Audible Originals a month and daily audio digests from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
If your idea of a good book usually features a guy with great abs and a strong head of hair on the cover, then Amazon has the Audible plan for you. The Audible Romance Package is a separate audiobook subscription that doesn't make you earn credits. You can rip through romance novels as fast as you can with unlimited listening. It costs $14.95 a month, but if you already have an Audible or Kindle Unlimited subscription, the Romance Package is a $6.95 add-on.
If you have Amazon Prime, then you get Prime Video, which features movies, TV shows and original programming like Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Homecoming and Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan. Prime Video Channels lets you add more channels to your lineup, and you must be a Prime member in order to do so. You can add premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime, kids channels like PBS Kids and Noggin, and lesser-known channels Britbox and Sundance. You pay per channel; prices range from $14.99 a month for HBO to $2.99 a month for something called Curiosity Stream. Baseball fans can also add MLB.TV for $24.99, which lets you watch all out-of-market games. For more, read this breakdown of Prime Video Channels.
Amazon's answer to Spotify or Apple Music is a music subscription that provides ad-free access to more than 50 million songs. Prime members pay $7.99 a month, while non-Prime members pay $9.99 a month -- the same rate for an individual plan on Spotify or Apple Music. There's also a cheaper Echo-only plan that costs $3.99 a month and lets you listen on a single Echo or Fire TV. The biggest reason to choose Amazon Music Unlimited over a competing monthly music subscription is the $2 monthly discount you get as a Prime member. Prime members can also pay $79 a year for Amazon Music Unlimited, which is $20 less than what Spotify or Apple Music charge annually. An Amazon Music Family plan costs $14.99 a month or $149 a year and lets you stream on up to six devices.
From diapers to detergent, dog food to deodorant, Amazon's Subscribe & Save can save you money and effort by sending you regular shipments of the things you use month in and month out. Amazon is happy to offer you a discount on products you want shipped to your home on regular schedule -- from once a month to once every six months. The discounts start at 5 percent, but you can bump that number up to 15 percent if you add five or more products to your regular Subscribe & Save delivery. You don't need to be a Prime member to use Subscribe & Save, but the savings are a little sweeter for Prime members -- a 20 percent discount on some products.
Congrats on the bun in the oven! Get some sleep now. And get ready to be showered with gifts. Amazon's Baby Registry lets you register for the things you want and hopefully makes it so easy to shop that your crazy aunt will put down her crochet hooks and buy the baby something more useful. When you create your baby registry on Amazon, it sends you a welcome box of baby goodies that it says is worth up to $35. Amazon's Baby Registry is a universal registry, so you can add items from other sites. There's group gifting, so multiple people can contribute to a crib or other big-ticket items. And you get 90 days to return the stuff you decide you don't want.
Congrats on getting hitched! You can use Amazon as a clearing house for the wedding presents about to be headed your way. Like its Baby Registry, Amazon's Wedding Registry is a universal registry so you aren't limited to only products on Amazon. And there's group gifting so your friends can go in together on that fancy Italian espresso machine. You can take a lengthy honeymoon because you get 180 days for returns. After your wedding, you can scoop up any items left on your registry at a 10 percent discount (20 percent for Prime members).
Amazon Family is really just a combination of two of Amazon's services, Subscribe & Save and Baby Registry. The only benefit it adds is a free email newsletter of parenting tips and product discounts. You'll need to provide your kid's birthday or arrival date so Amazon can tailor its advice and product recommendations to you and your family. It's for parents of kids up to 12 years old.
Freetime Unlimited is a subscription service that helps parents control what types of content their kid can access when you bestow precious screen time upon them. The service starts at $2.99 per month for Prime Members, with discounts for annual pre-payments. Targeted at kids ages 3 to 12, the service offers ad-free content from Cartoon Network, Disney, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street and more. Freetime Unlimited includes books, Audible books, educational apps and games. It works on Fire and Kindle devices as well as iOS and Android phones and tablets. There's even stuff you can access with an Echo. And, of course, there are parental controls to filter content and set limits on screen time.
AmazonFresh will deliver groceries to your door or have them bagged and ready for you to pick up at the store. Either way, it saves you from the actual "shopping" part of grocery shopping. AmazonFresh costs $14.95 a month, and you must be a Prime member to hop on the Fresh train. Delivery is free on orders that cost more than $50 (some cities have a $35 limit). If you miss out on free delivery, you'll pay $9.99 to get your groceries. Delivery is available only in a few select cities, and you can pick up only in two Fresh stores in Seattle. Amazon is rolling out grocery pick up at its Whole Foods stores via Prime Now.
You don't need Prime Pantry if you have AmazonFresh, but if you live in an area that doesn't offer Amazon's grocery-delivery service, you can still keep your panty stocked without needing to go to the grocery store. Prime Pantry costs $4.99 a month and lets you get dry goods and other household items shipped to your door. For orders of $10 and up, you get free shipping with Prime Pantry. (If you are a Prime member, you can skip the Prime Pantry subscription and get pantry shipments free of charge on orders of $35 and up.) For pantry orders under those thresholds, you are hit with a $5.99 delivery charge.
Still like your magazine content on glossy paper and delivered to your mailbox? How quaint! You can save on magazine subscriptions by ordering them through Amazon. Thousands of magazines are on offer -- and at steep discounts. Many are priced at only $5 a year, which equates to more than 90 percent off of the newsstand price. Which is good because newsstands are getting harder and harder to come by these days.
Need a plumber or electrician? A carpet or chimney cleaned -- or even the whole house? A TV hung on a wall? An impossible piece of Swedish furniture assembled? Amazon contracts local professionals to fulfill a job you need done around the house. You schedule the time you want the service to be performed and pay via Amazon once it's been completed. Amazon vets the people it sends to your door -- he or she will have passed a criminal background check and will also be insured and had their business bona fides checked. Plumbers and electricians and other such pros will also be licensed.
Same idea as Home Services but for the office. From assembling office furniture and mounting a whiteboard in your conference room to installing a wireless printer and setting up a server. And for you startups, there's even ping pong and foosball table assembly services.
Amazon Prime members get 5GB of free cloud storage and unlimited photo storage on Amazon Drive. If that's not enough, you can pay annually for more space. Plans start at $11.99 a year for 100GB (for non-Prime members) and $59.99 a year for 1TB. Beyond that, you pay $59.99 a year for each additional terabyte -- up to 30TB for $1,799.70 a year.
It won't send you beer, but college students can get other campus essentials delivered with free two-day shipping with Prime Student. At $59 a year (or $6.49 a month), it's half the price of Amazon Prime for adults in the real world. And Amazon picks up the tab for the first semester -- you get the first six months of Prime Student for free. It also includes unlimited streaming of Prime movies and TV shows, unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos, and 20 percent off preorder and new release video games.