Over 100 million people now have Amazon Prime Music

Sean Reid
April 20, 2018

For the first time, Amazon has revealed the number of subscribers in its Prime membership program - 100 million in the U.S. In a stunning deviation from typical protocol for Prime-related information, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos disclosed the total in an annual letter to shareholders.

Amazon boasts more than 560,000 employees and reported a profit previous year of slightly more than US$3 billion.

In fact, the 100 million number exceeds estimates from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, which suggested that the loyalty program had 90 million subscribers in October 2017. That covered all the benefits of Prime members, including free two-day shipment along with access to its Prime Music and Movies database. Now analysts can stop scratching their heads, or at least less so as we still don't know exactly how many Prime Members there are and it could be a while again until Bezos talks on it. The number of members now paying for an Amazon Prime subscription is over 100 million, meaning that over 100 million people around the world are also subscribed to Amazon Prime Music - Amazon's stripped back music streaming service packaged with Prime. The company has never released Prime revenue numbers, average order value per member or member retention rates.

"Prime Day 2017 was our biggest global shopping event ever (until surpassed by Cyber Monday), with more new Prime members joining Prime than any other day in our history", he said.

Bezos did not give a precise figure for current memberships, and kept most other disclosures unspecific as well and similar to what was discussed in Amazon's most recent earnings report. Consumer intelligence research has shown that Amazon Prime members shop on the site almost twice as often as non-prime members. Amazon shares are up almost 70 per cent in the past year, nearly five times the gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

Amazon is in its prime.

The company on Wednesday also announced a collaboration with USA consumer electronics retail chain Best Buy Co to sell Toshiba and Insignia "smart" Amazon Fire televisions infused with Alexa.

Bezos's annual letter has special importance because investors aren't drawn to Amazon for its profits. 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.

"2017 was our best year yet for hardware sales", Bezos wrote.

In comparison, Apple Music has over 40 million subscribers, Netflix has 125 million, Hulu Plus has 17 million, and Spotify has over 71 million paying subscribers.

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