SEATTLE — Tuesday was the 10th anniversary of Amazon Prime. The $99 annual membership guarantees two-day shipping and access to thousands of TV, film and book titles.
“It’s the best deal in the history of shopping,” said Greg Greeley, director of Amazon Prime. “Two-day shipping normally ranges from $15-$45 for single package, depending on where you are in the U.S.”
The company hopes that soon items will come even faster — within an hour. Amazon is working out the complicated regulatory details of flying unmanned vehicles to deliver goods.
“This a reality,” said Greeley. “Over 80 percent of the items we ship are under 5 pounds, so the idea is we will use Prime Air, which we call it, to deliver items in less than 30 minutes.”
In addition to approval by the FAA, Amazon would need to get to get an OK from state and local governments to fly drones for what could be millions of daily front-door deliveries.
“We’re somewhat constrained by the regulatory environment,” said Greeley. “We are ready to go when we can iron out some of the things, like insuring the program is safe and that any other kind of unmanned vehicles that may be out there can be avoided.”
The company says that they will be offering even more TV and films titles to Amazon Prime members to lure as many Netflix customers as it can.
For now, Greeley says, the annual membership will remain $99.