- Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime program, which offers free shipping on select products and a Netflix-like on-demand media streaming service, boasts at least 20 million paid members, according to a report from Australia-based Macquarie Equities Research.
- Although the company wouldn’t confirm the 20 million count outright to news outlets, Macquarie noted Jan. 7 that the company had indeed confirmed the figure. Despite rising pressure to reveal the size of its membership, Amazon so far has kept its Prime numbers close to the vest.
- The internet retailer did say in a statement the day after Christmas that more than 1 million consumers “around the world” joined Prime in the third week of December, and yesterday, regarding questions on the Macquarie report, that Prime "has tens of millions of members around the world."
Clearly, with 90% of Amazon’s products not eligible for Prime, the service has room to grow. And analysts expect it to. With a recent increase in its non-Prime free-shipping minimum to $35 from $25, Amazon seems to be priming the pump, making the $79 annual membership comparatively more palatable to more people. While it’s hard to know the extent of what Prime membership does exactly for amazon.com Inc. and its sub-retailers, Morningstar/Consumer Intelligence Research Partners LLC report last year did estimate that the average Prime member spends $600 more each year, including the fee, than the average Amazon customer outside Prime. These members are literally primed to shop at Amazon, so watch for more products and more companies that offer their products through Amazon to join the Prime service.