AWS Marketplace

How to optimize cost savings in AWS Marketplace

AWS Marketplace is a curated digital catalog that provides a range of subscription and pricing options to help ensure you only pay for what you use on the software solutions you need. In this post, I will explain the cost-saving opportunities of pay-as-you-go pricing as well as free trials and annual subscriptions. These pricing models offer savings for a wide range of use cases for both new AWS Marketplace customers and long-term users.

Pay-as-you-go pricing

Amazon Web Services offers pay-as-you-go pricing, which enables you to pay only for what you use. Once you stop your usage, there is no fee to terminate, and billing stops immediately. Pay-as-you-go pricing offers you the chance to save over on-premises infrastructure without buying a perpetual software license. With services like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), this means you can be flexible with your server allocation by scaling up during peak traffic and scaling back down during periods of lesser need. Since Amazon Machine Image (AMI) products in AWS Marketplace run on Amazon EC2, you get the same flexibility with preconfigured software applications. You can use our Total Cost of Ownership Calculator to learn how much you can save with this pricing model.

Free trials

Free Trials give you the opportunity to try AMI products in AWS Marketplace without making long-term commitments. AMI products that are launched through AWS Marketplace have two charges associated with them: a software charge from AWS Marketplace and an Amazon EC2 charge for the instance used to run the product. You can find the breakdown of these charges in the pricing section of the product page, as seen in the image below.

EC2 instance type AWS Marketplace

Many AMI products offer a free trial period, which allows you to experience the full version of the product and test one instance without the associated software charge. You can easily find the products that offer free trials by looking for this banner on the product page:

free trial

The length of the trial is determined by the seller and will be identified on the product page. Free trials are usually between 5 and 31 days in length and begin at the time you subscribe to the product. About three days before the end of your free trial, you’ll receive a reminder email letting you know that your trial is almost up. If you like the product and want to continue using it, there’s nothing you need to do; the product will keep running as normal and will convert to a paid offer when the free trial expires. If you want to cancel the product, you can easily do so from your AWS Marketplace console.

To learn more about free trials, you can view our FAQs page here:

Annual subscriptions

Another way to save on AWS Marketplace software is by committing to long-term usage through an annual subscription. This option provides a discount over hourly software rates for products that you need to run 24/7. In some cases, customers have saved up to 90 percent. Products that offer annual subscriptions will show you the savings in the pricing section of the product page, as seen in the image below:

pricing section

You can buy an annual subscription when first launching the product, or you can apply it to an instance of a product that is already running. To apply an annual subscription to your running instance, all you need to do is purchase the subscription that matches the size of your instance. The discount will take effect automatically. You can easily find annual subscription products by using the filters on the left-hand side of the search page in AWS Marketplace. See the image below for the annual filter applied to a product search.

filter product search AWS Marketplace

While annual subscriptions don’t apply to AWS Infrastructure charges, you can pair your subscription with an Amazon EC2 Reserved Instance for even greater savings. Similar to annual subscriptions, Reserved Instances provide discounts on Amazon EC2 instances running 24/7 for a year-long term. As long as the instance size of the annual subscription and Reserved Instance match, you’ll save cost on both.

You can learn more about annual subscriptions on our FAQ page:

You can also find details on EC2 Reserved Instances here:


Free trials in AWS Marketplace provide you with the flexibility to try new products. The pay-as-you-go pricing model in AWS Marketplace offers the same flexibility for your core infrastructure, and you will only pay for what you use. Annual subscriptions and Reserved Instances provide greater savings when you’re ready to make a long-term commitment.

About the author

Andre Bishai is a Technical Account Manager for AWS Marketplace. In his free time he enjoys playing drums, cooking, and learning about new technology.