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Amazon introduces Prime-exclusive products

27 April 2016 - 09:36 by Graham Miller

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While Amazon’s extensive marketplace rose to prominence in part because of the breadth of the product selection on offer, the e-commerce giant is now choosing to limit the availability of certain items, making them available to Prime subscribers and no one else, according to the Guardian.

For £79 a year a Prime subscription entitles Amazon customers to receive unlimited free next day delivery when they place an order via safe shopping online. Now games and movies including Grand Theft Auto V are being taken out of general circulation to create even more exclusive benefits for members of this premium service.

Interestingly, it is not brand new entertainment products which are being put behind what is effectively a paywall; GTA V came out in 2013, for example. But the fact that the retailer is choosing to prevent customers from accessing certain titles is intriguing in its own right.

What makes this decision even stranger is that while Amazon’s officially supplied products are being restricted, it is not getting rid of identical items being sold by third parties on its marketplace service. So it is still possible for non-Prime users to access them, just not through the retailer’s official supply infrastructure.

A spokesperson for Amazon placed emphasis on the exclusivity of the features which come as part of a Prime membership, including the new introduction of an artificially extended range of products which can be purchased online.

They also said that a free trial of Prime was available for those who have yet to subscribe, in addition to the availability of restricted products from marketplace sellers.

Whether or not this will have a big impact on sales of the restricted products remains to be seen. But if Amazon starts making new releases exclusive for Prime customers, the effect could be greater.