Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has revealed that the company has 100 million Prime members. The Prime membership is a paid subscription that offers free fast shipping, access to video and music content via Prime Video and Amazon Music apps. This is the first time Amazon has revealed the numbers of users subscribed to its Prime membership.
Bezos disclosed details regarding the Prime membership in his annual letter to the shareholders. Amazon’s co-founder and chief executive added that the company added more Prime members in 2017 alone compared to any previous year. He stated that the e-commerce giant shipped over five billion items through the Prime membership service worldwide last year.
In the past, Amazon had stayed quiet about Prime membership and has often shared shipment details as the metric to watch. With the disclosure regarding its user base, Amazon is trying to be transparent as its rival in the streaming media space Netflix and Apple Music revealed that they have 125 million and 40 million paid subscribers.
In his annual shareholders letter, which has come to be recognized to as must-read by many business professionals, Bezos writes that Amazon also sold the most number of hardware devices last year. He is particularly referring to Echo devices which he claims customers bought in ‘tens of millions’ of unit last year.
Amazon is one of the fastest growing technology companies in the world and analysts predict it will beat Apple, Microsoft and Google to become the first company with $1 trillion market capitalization. The company’s main source of revenue remains the e-commerce business but it has also grown its cloud revenues every quarter for the past few years. With Amazon Web Services, it is the world’s largest on-demand cloud storage provider.
Last year, Amazon announced a deal to acquire grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. The deal is widely seen as a way for Amazon to start selling foods directly through its e-commerce platform. It is also seen as the next big addition to benefits offered as part of Prime membership. In his letter, Bezos mentions that the “technical work” is underway to bring Prime membership benefits to the grocery chain.
Watch: Amazon Prime Video Review
Bezos has published his annual shareholders letter for every year since 1997 and has often detailed the inner workstyle of the company. Apart from reflecting on core business, he also emphasized the importance of setting high standards this year.
“How do you stay ahead of ever-rising customer expectations? There’s no single way to do it – it’s a combination of many things. But high standards (widely deployed and at all levels of detail) are certainly a big part of it,” Bezos wrote in the letter.
While the letter offers details about how the company’s core e-commerce business is performing and how many units of Alexa-enabled devices have been shipped, it does not make even a passing mention of US President Donald Trump. Trump has been very critical of Amazon’s business model and has often taken to Twitter to criticize the company and its CEO, who also owns The Washington Post. Most regulators see that Trump administration will soon change the law to impose more restrictions and taxes on the company.