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Amazon Reports Record Prime Additions

26 Dec, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

Amazon Dec. 26 said more than a million people became Prime members during the third week of December, a record number of sign-ups for the $79-a-year membership program.

Amazon Prime members get free two-day shipping on most purchases through the retailer and free access to VOD streaming of movies and TV shows. Amazon doesn’t disclose how many Prime members it has overall, though earlier in December Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated it had nearly 17 million subscribers.

“Amazon Prime membership continues to grow, and we now have tens of millions of members worldwide,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “They benefit from all-you-can-eat free two-day shipping on millions of eligible items and our members have a voracious appetite. We are extremely grateful to our customers around the world and wish everyone the very best for the coming year."

Michael Pachter, analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, said his firm believes there may be as many as 20 million Prime subscribers, a sign that Amazon’s challenge to Netflix may be gaining steam in 2014.

“Prime membership was so popular this holiday that the company limited new sign-ups during peak periods to ensure that the surge in new membership did not impact current members' service,” he said in a note to investors.

Amazon’s digital media selection now stands at more than 27 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, apps and games. Prime Instant Video includes 40,000 movies and TV episodes, while Amazon Instant Video now includes more than 150,000 movies and TV episodes.

Amazon reported more than 36.8 million items were ordered worldwide on Cyber Monday, a record-breaking 426 items per second.

In the home media arena, Amazon reported that the number of Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray Disc combo packs purchased “would span the distance of 25 Star Trek Enterprise spaceships.” Despicable Me 2 and Man of Steel were also top sellers for the holidays.

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