Amazon Discloses Prime Service Has Over 100 Million Subscribers

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the number in a lengthy letter sent to shareholders.

Amazon Prime has 100 million subscribers, the online retailer disclosed Wednesday in a 4,300-word letter to shareholders.

For $12.99 a month (or $99 if one pays yearly), Amazon Prime members get free shipping on items purchased at Amazon.com, plus they get streaming access to about 3,000 movies and Amazon original TV shows, which makes Prime a competitor with Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access and others, including an upcoming service from Disney.

While 100 million is a huge number, far bigger than any premium cable channel, it still is less than the 125 million subscribers that Netflix boasts worldwide.

Ostensibly, the letter from CEO Jeff Bezos is meant to celebrate the eighth year in a row that Amazon ranked No. 1 on The American Customer Satisfaction Index, though it might also be timed to blunt some recent criticism in the press claiming that some employees are subjected to awful working conditions.

"Congratulations and thank you to the now over 560,000 Amazonians who come to work every day with unrelenting customer obsession, ingenuity, and commitment to operational excellence," Bezos writes near the top of his letter, before discussing his views on the high standards he has for employees.

Bezos boasts that "we debuted NFL Thursday Night Football on Prime Video, with more than 18 million total viewers over 11 games," and the exec also brags of a pipeline that includes Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, starring John Krasinski; King Lear, starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson; The Romanoffs, executive produced by Matt Weiner; Carnival Row, starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne; Good Omens, starring Jon Hamm; and Homecoming, executive produced by Sam Esmail and starring Julia Roberts in her first television series.

Adds Bezos, "We acquired the global television rights for a multi-season production of The Lord of the Rings, as well as Cortés, a miniseries based on the epic saga of Hernán Cortés from executive producer Steven Spielberg, starring Javier Bardem, and we look forward to beginning work on those shows this year."

The entire letter can be read here.