Amazon's Jeff Bezos Boasts 100 Million Prime Subscribers Worldwide

Most of the massive companies in the tech and online worlds hold things like subscriber and member numbers very close to the vest. Amazon has always done this with numbers for its Prime service. This lack of hard detail directly from Amazon has meant that analysts in the past had to infer how many Prime members Amazon might have from surveys of customers.

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We no longer must infer anything, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos clearly stating in the annual shareholder letter Amazon sends out that the company has 100 million paid Prime members. A Prime membership costs $12.99 monthly or can be paid in a lump annual sum of $99. Either the monthly or annual memberships offer the same benefits to subscribers.

Included in the fees are Prime Video, free two-day shipping from Amazon, unlimited music streaming, unlimited photo storage, unlimited reading, and free same-day delivery in some areas. Those only wanting access to the ever-growing Prime Video catalog can get that alone for $8.99 per month. The big benefit here for Prime members is the free two-day shipping that makes the wait times for getting your items much more palatable. Prime members shop more frequently than other shoppers, and are key to Amazon's profits. Bezos says that in 2017 Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items globally with Prime.

Analysts see Bezos' admission on subscriber numbers as proof that Amazon has been able to sell Prime overseas and replicate the success seen in the U.S. with Prime. Morningstar Inc. analyst RJ Hottovy says that while Amazon is losing money on international investments, success with Prime will make investors more patient with the e-commerce giant.

Bezos also talked about the high standards and corporate culture at Amazon. "People are pretty good at learning high standards simply through exposure," he said. "High standards are contagious. Bring a new person onto a high standards team, and they'll quickly adapt. The opposite is also true. If low standards prevail, those too will quickly spread."

This week Amazon and Best Buy announced a tie-up that will see Best Buy as the exclusive retailer of Fire TV Smart TVs.