November 19, 2012, 8:43 PM — Just as suddenly as it arrived, the option to sign up for a monthly Amazon Prime membershipswiftly disappeared.
Two weeks ago, the company rolled out the $7.99-a-month Prime membership, which included access to Amazon's Instant Video library, in what many tech analysts and experts said was an attempt to compete with streaming giant Netflix. Netflix and Hulu both offer plans that start in the $7.99 sweet spot.
When Amazon rolled out the new pricing option, a spokesperson said the company was testing the subscription. The test ended without much fanfare.
In a statement, Amazon said: "We regularly test new options for our customers. At this time, we are no longer signing up new customers for monthly memberships of Amazon Prime."
Amazon normally charges $79 a year for Prime membership, which also includes free two-day shipping and access to the company's Kindle Lending Library. The monthly subscription had a higher premium at $7.99 versus $6.58, but the lower up-front cost was expected to be an attractive option for subscribers.
It's unclear whether customers who signed up for the monthly option will be able to stay on the plan or will revert to the yearly subscription.