Amazon Silently Catching Up Netflix: 150 Million Amazon Prime Members Now!

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In a recent press release, announcing its fourth-quarter earnings for 2019, Amazon has revealed that the count of Amazon Prime members has reached 150 million globally. The e-commerce behemoth also boasts of unprecedented growth, claiming that the number of new subscribers in 2019 Q4 is the highest ever recorded in Amazon’s history.

A part of this growth can be attributed to Amazon’s recent launch of Prime in Brazil, in September 2019. Brazil, which is the biggest South American economy, is also now the fastest-growing market for Amazon, replacing India, which previously held the spot.

Prime: Amazon’s Unique Subscription Bundle

Prime started solely as a delivery subscription service which offered free two-day shipping and discounted one-day shipping to all possible areas of the United States, granted that the item was eligible for it. The service became available in 2005, priced at $79 per year.

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From then on, the service has expanded both in terms of the countries it’s available in and the services it offers. The service is now available in 17 countries, and free one-day delivery is now the standard. Additionally, Amazon has included several add ons to the subscription such as Amazon Video, Amazon Music, free audiobooks, and free delivery on Amazon Pantry orders. The availability of some of these services varies slightly from country to country, but one-day delivery, Amazon Video, and Amazon Music remain constants.

For the longest time, Amazon kept all statistics regarding Prime hidden from the public eye. However, the data was leaked in 2018. Most figures were in relation to Amazon Video and its viewership in the United States. The data helped analysts shape an understanding of Amazon Video in comparison to Netflix, the global media streaming giant. The figures revealed Amazon’s potential to compete head-on with Netflix as a video streaming favourite among consumers.

At the time of the leak, Prime roughly had 100 million members, which Jeff Bezos triumphantly announced soon after. Out of these, roughly 26 million used Prime Video. In contrast, Netflix has 48 million American subscribers in the same year. Thus, Prime Video’s viewership was almost half that of Netflix, but it was still a strong contender, given as how Prime isn’t just a streaming service.

Amazon’s original content budget was around $5-$6 billion in 2019 while Netflix’s spent $14 billion. Prime’s growth from the 100 million user mark to the 150 million user mark has been extremely rapid. Where it took the service almost thirteen years to hit the 100 million mark, the next 50 million was attained in a mere fraction of that time, less than 2 years.

Competition for Netflix

As per recent data, Netflix has a total of 177 million global streaming subscribers. The service is available in 190 countries, as compared to Amazon Prime, which is only available in 19.

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However, in terms of users, Amazon Prime is almost on par with Netflix. Yet, it is unclear how many Prime members use Prime Video frequently, if at all. Amazon has provided no data on the matter.

Netflix, with its wide availability and exclusive content, certainly takes the upper-hand currently. But given its high pricing, Amazon Video might soon take over with its additional benefits and original content.

Overall the company strengthened its presence and financial stability as the overall revenue of Amazon.com Inc. increased to $87.4 billion in Q4 2019 from $72.4 billion in q4 2018, an increase of 21% YoY. The yearly revenue of the company increased Similarly, the company’s yearly revenue increased to $280 billion in 2018, up 20% from $232.9 billion in 2018.

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