Amazon adds free access to the Washington Post to its list of perks for Prime members

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Amazon is adding six months of free online access to The Washington Post for members of its $99 annual Prime membership program. Inc. founder and CEO Jeff Bezos acquired the newspaper in 2013 and until now has not linked up the businesses.

The deal is the latest perk that Amazon is giving Prime members as it seeks to grow its membership base and could help the Post boost its readership. Amazon doesn’t disclose how many people belong to the Prime program but there are an estimated 35 million to 40 million members.

After six months, Prime members will receive a discounted subscription rate of $3.99 a month. The regular rate is $9.99 a month.

“Offering free access to new subscribers through Prime allows us to connect with millions of members nationwide who may not have tried The Post in the past,” said Steve Hills, president of The Washington Post.

Seattle-based Amazon has been expanding the services and perks it offers members of its Prime program, grocery delivery, one- and two-hour delivery in some cities, beefed up video streaming and the creation of a Bluetooth speaker called the Echo that syncs with Prime music.

Its shares rose $4.90 to $527.27 in afternoon trading.