Amazon Prime bursts through 100 million subscriber mark

Amazon Prime now has more than 100 subscribers worldwide (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Amazon has broken the 100 million barrier for the number of subscribers to its Prime service.

Company boss Jeff Bezos revealed the global figure in a note to shareholders, and it puts membership about 10 million ahead of previous estimates.

It’s believed that about 8 million people in the UK subscribe to the Prime service – which gives priority delivery on products bought online and also access to Amazon’s TV and film streaming service for an annual fee.

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Bezos 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.”

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said Prime video has been a major growth area (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Same-day and one-day delivery are now on offer to Prime members in 8,000 cities and towns and that Prime Now — which can deliver goods to customers in just hours — is available in 50 cities and nine countries.

It costs UK subscribers £79 to sign up to Prime ($99 in the US).

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According to research, Amazon Prime members typically spend almost double that of non-Prime members.

In the UK, Prime members generated nearly £20.30 billion in sales for Amazon in 2016, up 22% on the previous year.

That equates to approximately 40% of UK ecommerce sales for the year, according to financial services and insight group Cowen.

Amazon is in a fight with the likes of Netflix and Sky in the UK for a share of the online TV streaming market.

Latest figures suggest Netflix is the most popular, with 7.5 million UK fans, while Amazon Prime Video has just 3.8 million.

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It’s a similar picture for global figures, with Netflix boasting 125 million users worldwide.

Bezos added in his note to shareholders: “Prime Video continues to drive Prime member adoption and retention.

“In the last year we made Prime Video even better for customers by adding new, award-winning Prime Originals to the service, like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, winner of two Critics’ Choice Awards and two Golden Globes, and the Oscar-nominated movie The Big Sick.”