Amazon offers prime membership service for free global shipping and video streaming

Amazon launches Prime membership in Singapore amid SE Asia push; stops free shipping option

The local Prime membership benefits do not apply to items bought on Amazon websites in other countries, however, and customers with existing US Prime memberships can not convert them to local ones.

Since its launch, Amazon Handmade has grown to encompass 10 categories (including Jewelry, Home & Kitchen, Stationery and Party Supplies) from thousands of artisans across more than 30 countries.

Amazon had been offering 2-hour delivery with Prime Now for free on orders over $40 Singapore with no membership fee, so for customers who have been using the service it's going to appear to be a price hike.

Another service available to Singapore's Amazon Prime subscribers is video streaming, which will allow members to stream or download popular movies and TV series via the Amazon Prime Video app on Android and iOS mobile devices.

In July, the retailer added a two-hour delivery service in Southeast Asia as it is putting more effort into a market that could be very profitable for it.

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Membership is available for $8.99 per month. Singaporeans do, however, get access to Prime videos and Twitch Prime.

Prime membership in the USA costs US$10.99 a month or US$99 a year.

Amazon Prime International's vice-president Jamil Ghani said more benefits will be added over time for Prime membership here. Ever since Amazon launched its handmade marketplace in October 2015, Etsy has had a rough time fending off the e-Commerce giant as it seeks to remain the leader in localized, handcrafted goods. Benefits offered include rebates and discounts for online supermarket RedMart, Netflix and Uber.

While free shipping and the ability to purchase global goods at lower cost are Amazon's main draw for Singaporeans, it has upped its features to include streaming with the launch of Amazon Prime. "We will keep making Prime better, adding even more selection and benefits".

Amazon.com will offer last-minute delivery of pottery, necklaces, candles and other handmade products ordered as late as Christmas Eve in nine USA cities, including Seattle, looking to win orders from competing arts-and-crafts marketplace Etsy.

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