Amazon just did a very un-Amazon-like thing: It revealed how many Amazon Prime subscribers there are. The number is over 100 million, and before now the online retail giant offered up only vague descriptions like “growing,” and “best year ever.” Now we know how big a competitor Amazon really is in the streaming video and music market.
Here’s what that number means:
- Amazon has over 100 million shoppers with a built-in loyalty thanks to Prime’s US$99 annual subscription
- Amazon has substantially more than 100 million shoppers after adding in non-Prime customers
- Amazon’s potential viewer base for its original shows and movies, as well as streaming music listeners is over 100 million
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the subscriber number in the company’s annual shareholder letter. He said,
13 years post-launch, we have exceeded 100 million paid Prime members globally. 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. Members in the U.S. now receive unlimited free two-day shipping on over 100 million different items.
That’s a lot of people with built-in shopping loyalty, and it’s a huge potential base for Amazon’s streaming content.
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. Granted, not all Amazon Prime members take advantage of the company’s streaming content, but it does make it clear the company is a real competitor in this space.
“Prime Video continues to drive Prime member adoption and retention,” Bezos said. Translation: Amazon’s streaming video content is a huge draw for new and ongoing Prime memberships.
That puts Amazon in the unique position of being a streaming content powerhouse along with a giant force in online sales.
Bezos writes a letter to shareholders every year, and it’s always draws the interest of investors as well as other companies. The letter gives some insight into Amazon’s company philosophies, along with performance-related details and possibly some clues about where it’s headed.
This year it also has a warning for competitors: Amazon is diving even deeper into product sales, and it’s a real contender in the streaming content space. Looks like it’s time to start paying closer attention to how all of the streaming content services stack up against Amazon.