Amazon Prime has more members than Costco, Bezos reveals

Jeff Bezos

Bezos added Amazon has begun the technical work for Prime members to receive benefits at Whole Foods stores, after the company acquired the grocery chain for $13.7 billion in 2017.

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.

Last year, Amazon added more Prime members than ever before, shipping more than five billion items through the paid membership service worldwide, Bezos added.

"Amazon's disclosure that its Prime membership program has crossed the 100-million-member threshold globally reflects the power of the program, and validates the continuing substantial investments on various fronts to both attract and maintain this important core base", stated Moody's Lead Retail Analyst Charlie O'Shea in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. Amazon is losing money with its global expansion, but investors will be patient if the company is gaining Prime subscribers, he said. The company has never released Prime revenue numbers, average order value per member or member retention rates. Prime has more members than Costco Wholesale (COST), Bezos said in his letter to shareholders with his Prime news. Once they have access to Prime Video, they have less incentive to sign up for other streaming video offerings. It was also the company's best yet for hardware sales, showing "tens of millions of Echo devices, and Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa" as best-selling products.

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While it has been the topic of a debate and wild speculation, all of that has been put to rest with Amazon finally coming clean on the size of its Prime member base.

He also briefly mentions music but emphasises their standalone streaming service launched 2 years ago, Amazon Music Unlimited and it's planned expansion.

Bezos's annual letter has special importance because investors aren't drawn to Amazon for its profits. The number is over 100 million, and before now the online retail giant offered up only vague descriptions like "growing", and "best year ever".

Bezos did not provide a precise figure, but the total number of Amazon Music subscribers is likely to be substantially less than Spotify's 70 million or Apple Music's 36 million. Amazon has expanded Prime to Mexico, Singapore, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, even as it introduced Business Prime Shipping in the US and Germany.

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