Video 'driving adoption' as Amazon Prime passes 100m members

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However, that strategy looks to be changing, with the e-commerce giant announcing the first-ever specific number around just how many people pay for its members-only free shipping and streaming media service.

The total subscriber count was revealed in a letter Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sent to company shareholders on Wednesday.

Prime serves as a "competitive moat" that makes it more hard for other retailers, online and offline, to get people to shop at their stores instead of Amazon, Ives said. Analysts have speculated for years as to the numbers of Amazon members but up to now, the company has never disclosed that information. We further detail how Amazon's other revenue streams are expected to grow, per Trefis estimates.

The average salary for software engineers at Amazon is north of $100,000, according to data from PayScale, a salary comparison service.

The number of Prime subscribers for years has been a closely held secret and the focus of much speculation.

A Prime subscription costs $99 a year giving reduced shipping fees plus access to its video and music services.

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The letter praises Amazon's corporate culture, with Bezos maintaining that high standards are "teachable". The letter also revealed that "Prime Now is available in more than 50 cities worldwide across nine countries".

This is the 20th anniversary of his annual letter to shareholders, where he points out that the company values continue to remain the same. The timing of this exercise of back-patting is quite curious, as Amazon will be reporting the financials for Q1 in exactly one week. In a letter to investors, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos reported that the service has over 100 million subscribers.

Last year, the company gained more than $3 billion profit and it has more than 560,000 employees.

Overall in 2017, Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items via Prime, its program that offers unlimited free two-day shipping on over 100 million different items in the US along with other perks (including access to the original and licensed TV shows and movies on Prime Video). He also said that "We think that the monthly membership option appeals to the later Prime adopters, with a smaller, potentially temporary commitment, that ultimately yields a long-term commitment".

"While many retailers struggle to establish omni-channel strategies, Amazon is taking omni-channel innovations to the next level through its partnerships, delivery options and multiple interfaces", said Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Consultancy and Innovation, Salmon.

Bezos believes that high standards are teachable and once it is embedded in an organization, it becomes contagious and spreads among members.

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