Economics Index and Qualifications
By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics
Former Instructor St. John's University, New York City

Amazon Prime, How I Get My Money's Worth

Why join Amazon Prime? Prime provides many privileges for your ten dollars a month, many of which you will use, others you will not. For many, perhaps most, households it is hard not to get your money's worth.

I would offer my self as an example, not because there is any reason why you should be interested in me. I do not blog and I have never posted a picture of my desert on line. It is simply that my experience illustrates the value of Prime.

Music for my ears, with no ads

The free service I use most with Prime is the music. There is a massive collection of free, and advertising free music on Amazon Prime. I probably listen several hours a day. This gives me control over what I listen to, which I would not have with radio, and furthermore, normal commercial radio is about one quarter ads. The same is true of broadcast and basic advertising supported cable.

The average American and indeed the average person on the planet spends more time consuming media than they spend sleeping. It is our number one activity. As commercially supported media are about one quarter ads, the time you spend listening to and watching ads over the course of a life time is likely to equal or exceed the time you spend working for money. This is because about half the population is employed, many of the rest are children, or retired. The time you spend watching ads is about half of what a person working full time spends working. So cutting out the ads with subscriptions, like Prime, Netflix, etc. is a huge bargain and a great time saver.

Free Shipping

Second, I order things from Amazon fairly often, so the free two day shipping is nice. In many cases I do not need the item quickly so I opt for slower shipping and get a credit I can apply to other purchases in exchange.

I do not drive so Amazon is particularly important for me. On the other hand I live alone, a family might order much more.

A massive collection of high quality TV

Third, Prime provides a large collection of free and once again advertising free TV programs. This includes many classics from Home Box Office. I recognize the quality of the HBO material, but it is too mature for me. Still there are massive collections of children's and religious programming for immature religioius fanatics like me.

Reading including comics, Marvel, DC, & Star Wars

Fourth, there is a relatively small but constantly changing collection of books that you can read for free. You are limited in that you can only check out ten at time, but you can keep them until you read them, even if they have been removed from the free offering.

What I value is the comics, including lots of Marvel, DC, and Star Wars. My public library offers a great collection of online comic books through a service called Enki, but Marvel, DC, and Star Wars are not included. Between Enki from the public library and Amazon Prime I have far more than I can even think of reading. Did I mention my immaturity?

Subscriptions without giving out credit card numbers

Fifth, I can pay extra for subscriptions to HBO, Showtime, Stars, and many other streaming services. Because I am afraid of identity theft, I hate to give out my credit/debit card number online. So I love the fact that I can subscribe and pay for a service using Amazon. They already have my debit card number so there is little or no additional danger of identity theft. I can buy a subscription for a month, watch what interests me that month and cancel. This is cheap and if you concentrate your leisure entertainment time on the service you are paying for that month it is hard not to get your money's worth. Watch a few movies, and maybe binge a TV program, its cheap entertainment and advertising free.

Free Movies

Sixth, there are free movies. This collection is not as great at the TV collection which includes lots of the greatest shows ever, but the movies are free and there are a lot of movies. For those movies that are not included you can often get them by signing up for a month long subscription to HBO, Stars or another sevice.

Other services I do not use but you might

There are many other free services. You can store your digital photos on line, nice but not my thing. This is just one of the free services I have no interest in, but that is life. I am not interested in most of the books in the library but I still own a library card. Most of you get cable TV even though you hardly watch most of the channels. The question is always is there a enough that I value to justify the cost.

A lot for a little money

Amazon charges me 120 dollars a year, ten dollars a month, but you can sign up for a month for thirteen dollars. If you are short on money you can binge on Amazon for a month just like I binge on the subscription services. You could also order a lot of stuff to take full advantage of the free shipping. A month of Amazon before Christmas might help a lot with Christmas shopping and it only costs $13.

This is another thing I like about Prime and subscription services in general. If you have the money, you can get several and watch, listen to, or use what you want, when you want. You do not have to binge one service.

If money is tight you can sign up for fewer, or one and binge on that one for the month. Or skip the subscriptions all together for a month and visit the library. You can pay what you want, though if you pay more you get more, and no ads, it is a great system.


Amazon Prime provides many services, including free entertainment, movies, TV, music, and reading. There are many other entertainment subscription services, Netflix, CBS All Access, Home Box Office, Spotify, and many others. I see these services as a major step forward. I have a web page on the advantages of Internet entertainment subscriptions.

As mentioned above I am a religious fanatic, here is a page of religious, Christian, and more specifically Catholic resources available through Prime.

Here is an index to my other pages on economics, and a short review of my qualifications in this field.

This page is one of many this site has on media. Here is the media index page.

Tell me what you think. Here is my contact information..

Last updated October 23, 2019

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