annual letter to shareholders on Wednesday that Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items with Prime worldwide. Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos recorded total compensation of $1,681,840 in 2017, most of which is money paid for personal security-Bezos drew a salary of $81.840 and received no stock. The figure also confirms that Prime is one of the world's largest Internet subscriptions and a behemoth among online retailers.


Netflix has 125 million paying subscribers, Netflix just announced in its Q1 2018 earnings this week.

Still, some are wary of Prime membership acting like a blinder that prevents shoppers from checking prices elsewhere and shapes consumer habits.


Because Amazon has kept up the secret for so long, many industry analysts have instead spent years estimating the Prime membership rolls, often offering up numbers that were tens of millions apart from each other. Amazon has previously said it has tens of millions of Prime members in the USA and tens of millions internationally.

Prime had its best year in 2017, Bezos said in the letter - revealing it signed up more subscribers to its $99-a-year service during that year than in any other year. Having "high standards" is the key, he wrote. "To achieve high stands yourself or as part of a team, you need to form and proactively communicate realistic beliefs about how hard something is going to be - something this coach understood well". Without knowing how big Prime is or how much it's growing, it's been hard to figure out how successful the program has been.


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