Amazon's Prime subscription just got a boost in value thanks to the addition of unlimited photo storage for members. This new feature adds to a growing list of subscription benefits including free 2-day shipping, Kindle e-book lending, Amazon Prime Video streaming, and more recently Amazon Music streaming.
Many were outraged when Amazon decided to bump up the subscription cost from $79 up to $99 per year yet the recent improvements to the Prime subscription seem to warrant the price increase offering subscribers much more value on the dollar. With modern photography have become heavily transitioned to the digital age, photo storage has evolved into a thriving market especially at the consumer level.
Amazon's already powers one of the largest online storage options via their S3 cloud service so it makes a lot of sense for the company to leverage this power in way that boosts sign up rates for their Prime subscription. For example, competing cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Apple's iCloud offer smaller storage capacities without all the awesome Prime benefits.
Now there are a few small catches with Amazon's unlimited photo storage via their Cloud Drive. All Amazon customers are entitled to 5GB of free storage to use however they wish (no restrictions) yet Prime subscriptions get this 5GB plus unlimited storage for photo uploads including those in RAW formats. Videos and other forms of media (audio, text, miscellaneous documents) are not eligible for the unlimited storage and will count against your 5GB quota.
Prime Photos is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You may not use it in connection with a professional photography business or other commercial service.
This means professional photographers or commercial outlets are not entitled to the unlimited storage benefits and will be required to purchase an upgraded storage plan for a monthly fee. Will Amazon have a reliable way of policing whether or not you are a professional photographer? Likely not, but it surely is not worth the risk if you plan on uploading an assortment of important photos with Amazon as a means of your only backup.
Prime subscribers can login to the web interface to get started or download the iOS, Android, or Windows client. If you are not a Prime subscriber and think you want to sign up, take advantage of the free 30-day trial here.