Amazon’s Prime membership program may have as many as 50 million members worldwide, RBC analyst Mark Mahaney said in a note to investors. According to a report by Re/code, Mahaney estimated that the company has between 30 million and 40 million Prime subscribers in the U.S., and a total of 40 million to 50 million worldwide.
That squares with Amazon’s statement late last year that the company has “tens of millions” of Prime members. At the time, Mahaney said that there were between 20 million and 30 million subscribers worldwide.
But since then, RBC has conducted a survey of 4,000 Amazon customers and found that 37 percent of those surveyed were Prime members. That prompted a change in Mahaney’s calculations.
If that estimate is correct, it could prove to be a boon for Amazon’s sales. People with Prime are more likely to order items from the retailer, since they’re able to get them shipped quickly. It’s also a potential validation of Amazon’s decision to raise the price of a year of Prime from $79 to $99 earlier this year. It was a controversial decision at the time, which has many investors and analysts concerned that Amazon may have lost customers for its subscription service.
Amazon has been working hard to make its service more appealing to its customers by offering perks beyond free shipping like a free streaming music service, a catalog of streaming video that includes HBO and a service that provides flat-rate delivery of household essentials.