Amazon Prime Now Has Over 200 Million Subscribers

Posted on April 15, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Amazon with 5 Comments

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos today delivered his 2020 letter to shareholders, spilling the beans on some new milestones. Among them, Amazon Prime now has over 200 million subscribers.

“In Amazon’s 1997 letter to shareholders, our first, I talked about our hope to create an ‘enduring franchise,’ one that would reinvent what it means to serve customers by unlocking the internet’s power,” he notes in the letter. “I noted that Amazon had grown from having 158 employees to 614, and that we had surpassed 1.5 million customer accounts. We had just gone public at a split-adjusted stock price of $1.50 per share. I wrote that it was Day 1. We’ve come a long way since then, and we are working harder than ever to serve and delight customers.”

Among the new data provided by Bezos is:

Employees. Last year, Amazon hired 500,000 employees, and the firm now directly employ 1.3 million people around the world, he says. In 2020, employees earned $80 billion, plus another $11 billion in benefits and various payroll taxes, for a total of $91 billion, he adds.

Customers. Customers complete 28 percent of their purchases on Amazon in three minutes or less, and half of all purchases are finished in less than 15 minutes, Bezos says

Amazon Prime. There are now over 200 million Prime members worldwide. More

Retail partners. There are now over 1.9 million small and medium-sized businesses selling products through, and they make up almost 60 percent of its total retail sales. And in 2020, third-party profits from selling on Amazon were roughly $25 billion.

Alexa. Customers have connected over 100 million smart home devices to Alexa. I assume this number only includes third-party devices that are compatible with Alexa.

Amazon Web Services. AWS now serves “millions” of customers and ended 2020 with a $50 billion annualized run rate. (Which I think means an average of $12.5 billion in revenues per quarter.)

“In 1997, we hadn’t invented Prime, Marketplace, Alexa, or AWS,” he says. “They weren’t even ideas then, and none was preordained. We took great risk with each one and put sweat and ingenuity into each one.”

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Amazon Prime Now Has Over 200 Million Subscribers”

  1. jchampeau

    Saying they ended 2020 with a $50 billion annualized run rate means that if they take their Q4 revenue--what they "ran" in Q4 2020--and multiply it by 4, that will be their revenues for the next fiscal year. This is a way of saying they brought in more revenue in the last quarter of 2020 than they did in previous quarters, and so it makes sense to tell people where they are based on that number assuming no further growth. This is common in companies or divisions that are growing rapidly and especially show for public companies because making "forward-looking statements" must be done very carefully. They could have even taken just the last month of 2020 instead of the last quarter and calculated run rate based on that.

  2. bluvg

    1.3 million employees. Which will be replaced by robots as soon as is feasible.

  3. spacein_vader

    200 million people pay for the privilege of being able to use a shop slightly quicker.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Well, maybe they do. But there is a whole world of perks that makes Prime totally worth it.
  4. minke

    I guess Prime is worth it if you need the fast shipping and it works where you live. Most stuff I order from Amazon offers free shipping anyway, though a bit slower. Where I live shipping is so slow anyway that "overnight" means you're lucky if you get it in a week, and two weeks might be average, while free shipping is about the same speed. I do know several people who have found Prime super helpful during the pandemic lockdowns. Also, with Google Photos soon charging for storage Prime photos might make the subscription worth it on its own.

  5. scovious

    I might get Prime if included Audible, even if I had to sacrifice Fast Shipping or alternatively Prime Video.