Amazon’s new pricing, which the company announced today, lets you subscribe to Prime—or just its streaming service, if you prefer—on a monthly basis. This is great for people who may not be able to pay $99 all at once; now, they can binge a season of Transparent for just $8.99 and then opt out the following month.
But if they end up subscribing for the whole year, customers are paying extra because they couldn’t pay a lump sum of $99 for Prime’s yearly subscription. That is what’s called a poverty tax:
• Cost of yearly Prime subscription: $99
• Cost of month-by-month video subscription, over 12 months: $107.88
• Cost of month-by-month Prime subscription, over 12 months: $131.88
From the looks of it, Amazon is punishing people who don’t have an extra $99 lying around—to the tune of more than $30.