More than three out of every five Amazon account holders in the United States have a Prime subscription.
That claim coming out of Consumer Intelligence Research partners this week as it reports that the company is starting 2019 with 101 million Prime members in the country, up 10 percent from a year ago. Amazon only announced to shareholders last April that it had 100 million worldwide.
The paid program, launched in 2005, was initially intended for heavy-use customers who could save money with free two-day shipping on purchased items. An array of services and discounts has since been added on such as free access to the company’s music streaming library, sale prices at Amazon-acquired Whole Foods Market and much more.
CIRP finds non-members spend around $600 annually on Amazon properties compared to $1,400 per year for Prime customers.
Prime started out with one way for customers to get in: a $99 annual fee. The price has gone up since then to $119, but in late 2016, Amazon started offering monthly access, currently priced at $12.99.
In December, 58 percent of Prime members were on annual dues while 36 percent paid monthly. A small fraction obtained the subscription through other means — carriers such as Sprint and Metro by T-Mobile are offering ways to purchase memberships or are even subsidizing them.
Monthly members are a growing contingent in the user base and, because those rates are padded with larger margins, Amazon has been able to benefit even as growth in Prime accounts is slowing.