Amazon now has over 150 million paid Prime members worldwide, able to receive free delivery of goods and use its online video service. The number is approaching the 167 million paid members that Netflix has. Viewing on Amazon Prime doubled over the course of 2019. There are also 40 million active users of Amazon Fire TV.
“Prime membership continues to get better for customers year after year. And customers are responding — more people joined Prime this quarter than ever before, and we now have over 150 million paid Prime members around the world,” said Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon. “Prime members watched double the hours of original movies and TV shows on Prime Video this quarter compared to last year, and Amazon Originals received a record 88 nominations and 26 wins at major awards shows.”
Amazon spent $7.8 billion on video and music in 2019, up from $6.7 billion the previous year.
Unlike Netflix, which is solely a video service, video and music are just part of the Amazon business model and ecosystem.
There are an estimated 6.4 million Amazon Prime Video members in the United Kingdom, compared to 11.8 million Netflix members, according to the BARB Establishment survey in the third quarter of 2019. Amazon grew by over 30% year-on-year, while Netflix subscribers increased by 21%.
Amazon last disclosed it had over 100 million Prime members worldwide in April 2018, so passing 150 million represents 50% global growth in under two years.
“It’s nothing sudden. It’s a long improvement in the Prime program that we’ve been making for years and years,” Amazon finance chief Brian Olsavsky told analysts.
Amazon has been improving its free unlimited delivery in the United States from a two-day service to one-day. Prime members tend to spend about twice as much with Amazon as non-members. They are also more likely to use Amazon products like Fire TV and Echo speakers.
Fire TV now has more than 40 million active users worldwide. Amazon recently announced the new Fire TV Edition, which is easier to integrate into third-party products. BMW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are among the first manufacturers to introduce Fire TV in their future vehicles.
Amazon also says there are hundreds of millions of Alexa-enabled devices and customers interact with Alexa billions of times each week.
Net sales increased 20% to $280.5 billion in 2019, compared with $232.9 billion the previous year. Net income increased to $11.6 billion from $10.1 billion.