While it’s not clear just what form it will take, Amazon seems to be approaching some sort of watershed moment in the next few years. Not only are its logistics costs ballooning, but its Web services and media divisions are growing past what any pundit realistically thought possible.
What’s going to keep things steady at Amazon going forward? The answer, straight from the horse’s mouth, is Prime.
In Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ annual letter to shareholders, the magnate explained the overarching plan for the company in the past and moving forward is to cobble together a selection of services, discounts and convenient shipping options that make Amazon Prime’s $99 annual fee a pittance in comparison.
“We want Prime to be such a good value, you’d be irresponsible not to be a member,” Bezos wrote.
Bezos rattled off several figures in support of just how great a deal Prime has become, including the slow climb toward 30 million items eligible for two-day delivery and the expansion of its on-demand Prime Now service to 30 cities globally. Bezos also noted that Amazon-backed original series on its Prime Video library have garnered 120 critical nominations, 60 of which went on to win. Bezos also made sure to plug the honestly bewildering rundown of names it’s already signed on to produce more content for its Prime platform, including Woody Allen, Jeremy Clarkson and David E. Kelley.
If that’s not enough to draw more Prime subscribers in, though, Bezos noted that Amazon’s inaugural Prime Day in July 2015 saw “more new members [try] Prime that day than any other day in our history.” Overall, global Prime memberships increased 51 percent during 2015, though U.S. subscriptions increased at the slightly lower rate of 47 percent.
“There’s a good chance you’re already one of them, but if you’re not – please be responsible – join Prime,” Bezos pleaded.