Amazon Prime Cracks Down on Account Sharing

Amazon is no longer okay with users sharing accounts with others. Until now, members could add 4 people to their account with separate use and payment methods. The system was designed for household sharing, but many people shared their accounts with friends and coworkers. The Amazon Prime membership program offers free shipping, an on-demand video application, photograph storage, music and other benefits.

As of July 31, users can only add one additional adult to their “Amazon Household,” but can add as many as 4 children. Now, two adults can enjoy the full benefit of a prime membership for one price, but other adults cannot. Furthermore, both account holders in the household must authorize each other’s credit and debit cards for purchases. Amazon hopes that the new standard will prevent people from sharing accounts for the sake of offsetting the $99/year subscription fee. Any Amazon Prime members who created their accounts before July 31 have been grandfathered into the program.

Is Amazon Ahead of the Curve?
Amazon’s move may be the first of many shareable membership programs. Netflix, another widely shared video-streaming platform, may also be considering better ways control and codify account sharing. As Amazon used Prime Day to boost their membership sales, Netflix has a long-term growth plan that includes the incorporation of content with higher value as an incentive for alternative program structuring and packages. The online streaming company does not plan to make any changes in US subscription programs in the near future.

Other retailers are starting to move to subscription-based shipping programs in an effort to keep up with forward-thinking competitors like Amazon. Online retailers, like Walmart, created a competitive online discount day on the same day as Prime Day. Additionally, the company recently introduced a $50/year unlimited 3-day shipping pass for online purchases. The program is currently only available in certain areas. Amazon recently surpassed the large discount-retail chain with a market cap of $263.2 billion, $30.5 billion more than Walmart.

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