Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the company now has more than 100 million paid Prime members, a huge milestone for the company’s premium service whose subscriber count had never been publicly revealed before. Bezos noted the milestone in his annual shareholder letter.
“13 years post-launch, we have exceeded 100 million paid Prime members globally,” he wrote. “In 2017 Amazon shipped more than five billion items with Prime worldwide, and more new members joined Prime than in any previous year — both worldwide and in the U.S.”
The size of Amazon’s Prime subscriber base has long been a topic of speculation and prediction; Statista, for example, had pegged the total number of Prime members in the US at 90 million as of last September. If those numbers are close, then Amazon Prime’s international membership would then be around 10 million, which would be impressive if not earth-shattering. No specific data is available for Indian subscribers, but it must be noted that the price of Prime membership in India (Rs 999 per year, or around $15) is significantly lower than that of US ($99 per year).
The Prime membership generally represents Amazon’s best, highest-spending customers, who receive benefits like free or discounted priority shipping, unlimited access to Prime streaming videos, music, online photo storage, preferred pricing in Amazon’s retail bookstores and more.
The letter also disclosed that Amazon Music has “tens of millions of paid customers” — compared to Spotify’s 71 million and Apple Music’s more than 40 million.
“Amazon Music Unlimited, our on-demand, ad-free offering, expanded to more than 30 new countries in 2017, and membership has more than doubled over the past six months,” Bezos wrote.
Amazon Prime in India
While Amazon hasn’t revealed any specific numbers about Prime members in India, the company’s senior VP and CFO Brian Olsavsky had said that the number of Prime members who joined India’s Prime program in the first year was higher than in any other country. He added that now the focus is on increasing the Prime eligible selection in India. It currently stands at over 25 million items, including Prime Video. Amazon is “also continuing to add other Prime benefits such as Prime Music will be coming soon, Amazon Family is there, as I said, Prime Video, and we had our first Prime Day in India.”
In February, Amazon had expanded its Prime membership in India to include Amazon Prime Music. The music streaming service is bundled into the cost of Prime membership. Amazon Prime Video, on the other hand, is now looking to expand its offerings in vernacular languages, to have an edge over competitors. The platform already has a library of movies in five Indian languages.