Amazon brings Prime membership to Canada — but without Instant Video

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Amazon Prime Canada

Online retail giant Amazon is introducing its popular Prime membership program to Canadian consumers, it announced today — but it’s without numerous perks that make this service so appealing.

The move means that Canadian customers that purchase the $79 (CAD) annual subscription will have access to “free” two-day shipping on thousands of items sold by Amazon or through one of its fulfillment merchants. Prime membership also offers a one-day shipping rate of $3.99 and a standard shipping fee for all packages shipped to rural areas.

But unlike U.S. members, Canadian members won’t have access to some of the other perks that go along with the Prime service. That means no access to the library of free streaming movies on Prime Instant Video, and no access to the Kindle library lending program.

I’d imagine this has something to do with the separate licensing deals Amazon would need to cut with media companies to offer a Canadian Prime Video service. Also, it’s likely that Amazon wants to master its streaming video service domestically before it decides to expand into new markets.

Still, the product shipping discounts offered by Prime membership is still enough to carry the service on its own in Canada.