Amazon Holds Prime Position With Record 60 Million Subscribers

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E-commerce leader Amazon ( AMZN ) added about 10 million subscribers to its Prime membership program in 2017, raising the total number by 20% to a record 60 million. according to a Wall Street analyst.

[ibd-display-video id=3059014 width=50 float=left autostart=true] "In our view Prime remains the most critical driver of Amazon's e-commerce business long term," wrote Cowen analyst John Blackledge in a research note to clients Wednesday. His estimate of 60 million Prime members was derived from Cowen's survey of 2,500 consumers.

About 54% of U.S. households are now Prime subscribers, up from 18% in 2013, Blackledge said.

"We expect rising Prime penetration in 2018 to continue as we have seen no clear indications of slowing demand for Prime," Blackledge wrote.

Shares of Amazon went back above the 1,200 level for the first time since Nov. 28. Shares ended the regular session up 1.3% to 1,204.20.

Amazon doesn't reveal how many Prime members it has, and analyst estimates vary widely. In October, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners issued a press release saying Amazon had 90 million Prime subscribers, which it based on a survey of 500 Amazon users.

Subscribers to Amazon Prime pay $99 a year. With it they get free shipping, free access to Amazon's streaming TV service and streaming music, exclusive discounts and other perks.

The perk for Amazon is that Prime subscribers spend more and buy more frequently than non-Prime members. In December, about 85% of Prime members made a purchase on Amazon, accounting for 65% of total Amazon purchases that month, Blackledge wrote.

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Amazon on Tuesday boasted of record holiday sales, putting a spotlight on Prime subscribers with its " Best of Prime 2017 ." Amazon said it shipped more than 5 billion items through Prime this past year.

Amazon scored record sales on Cyber Monday and Black Friday as consumers responded to a raft of promotions. The company has significant momentum heading into 2018 and could beat fourth-quarter revenue estimates if the expectations of a Wall Street analyst prove accurate. On Tuesday, a Wall Street analyst said Amazon is a top stock pick for 2018.


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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