This Christmas, give the gift of Prime. Or at least that's what Amazon would like you to do.

The online retail giant has just announced that customers can now buy and transfer a Amazon Prime subscription to a friend. The annual membership fee for Prime is $79 (£49). Visit Amazon's Gift Prime page, then add prime to your shopping cart and enter a recipient's email address, if you would like to give Prime to a friend this holiday season.  

Prime launched in 2005, giving customers unlimited free two-day shipping on millions of products listed through But today marks the first time that Amazon has allowed customers to purchase Prime as a gift, rather than using it solely for buying and shipping goods without the additional costs of quick delivery. 

READ: Amazon adds Sunday delivery for customers in the US

Prime also includes, at least for US customers, access to Prime Instant Video, an instant streaming service with over 41,000 movies and TV episodes. So by gifting Prime you would also be handing over an entire library of popular video content that's accessible via a number of smart TVs, Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, mobile devices and online.

Also, if you happen to gift Prime to a current Prime member by accident, they will be able to exchange the subscription for an Amazon Gift Card. Still - not a bad gift for $79.

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