Sprint (NYSE: S) is teaming with Amazon on a promotion enabling customers to pay for a monthly subscription to Amazon Prime on their mobile bills. But they'll have to pay more to do so.
Sprint subscribers can pay an extra $10.99 on their monthly wireless bills for Prime, enabling them to access Amazon's video and music libraries, e-books and two-day shipping, among other things. Amazon charges $99 a year for Prime, which is roughly one-third less than Sprint's monthly offering over a full year.
Customers can call the carrier or visit a Sprint retail outlet to sign up and receive a text message with a link to complete the registration.
As Bloomberg reporter Scott Moritz noted via Twitter, consuming Amazon's content over Sprint's network will take a toll on users' monthly data allotments, which could motivate customers to sign on to bigger data plans. So the deal certainly seems to benefit both Sprint and Amazon.
"The mobile entertainment era is in prime time," said Harry Wang, director of mobility research at Parks Associates in a press release trumpeting the promotion. "With growing adoption of bigger-screen smartphones and LTE-enabled tablets, American consumers are spending more time for entertainment on mobile platforms than ever."
Sprint added that 73 percent of its customers listen to streaming music daily.
Interestingly, Amazon has yet to disclose publicly whether it degrades the quality of its video for specific mobile operators, as Netflix does. Netflix made headlines last week when it admitted to The Wall Street Journal that it throttles the transmission of video it makes available to Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T) because those carriers typically charge their customers for data overages rather than slowing transmissions when users exceed their data caps, as T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) and Sprint (NYSE: S) do. Overage charges presumably lead to reduced viewing, reducing Netflix's reach in mobile.
In related news, Sprint isn't the only carrier working to juice up its offerings. AT&T announced that, starting tomorrow, its wireless and DirecTV customers can get a free 48-inch Samsung Smart TV if they first buy a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge on AT&T Next, activate a new AT&T wireless line or new DIRECTV service, and submit an online offer claim.
- read this Sprint press release
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