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Amazon Prime hits 200 million subscribers

The pandemic has elevated the popularity of Amazon Prime in countries like India.

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NEW DELHI: Amazon Prime, which comprises the e-commerce giant’s video streaming service, has reached a userbase of 200 million, an increase of over 50 million post the outbreak of the Covid2019 pandemic, revealed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a letter to shareholders.

For comparison, Netflix had over 204 million users at the end of 2020, while Disney+ has amassed more than 100 million users in an year of its launch. Considering the viewing plans, Amazon is considered the most affordable when compared to Netflix and Disney+, and it is giving the OTT platform widespread acceptance in countries like India. 

Streaming service Prime Video is simply an added value element included in Prime membership. Amazon has never officially revealed how many Prime subscribers are actively using the Prime Video function. 

However, the company’s attention to churn out  video content has surged significantly over the years. Web series and movies produced by Amazon Studios (which invariably land on Prime Video) are finding favour not only with viewers but critics, too. The OTT platform’s star has been rising on the back of popular shows like The Boys and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, as well as Oscar-nominated films like Borat Subsequent MovieFilm and Sound of Metal.

Bezos, who will be replaced by former AWS head Andy Jassy as Amazon CEO this year, said in his final letter to the company’s shareholders that Amazon customers have connected more than 100 million smart home devices to Alexa. 

Further, he informed that Amazon is currently employing more than 1.3 million people worldwide. 

"Last year, we hired 500,000 employees and now directly employ 1.3 million people around the world. We have more than 200 million Prime members worldwide. More than 1.9 million small and medium-sized businesses sell in our store, and they make up close to 60 per cent of our retail sales," wrote Bezos. 

The world’s richest man added that Amazon has created $1.6 trillion of wealth for shareowners. Additionally, the etailer spent $11 billion on video and music content in 2020, up from $7.8 billion in 2019, and it includes contents for Amazon Prime Video and royalties from Amazon Music. 

Talking about Andy Jassy, Bezos said, "Andy is brilliant and has the highest of high standards. I guarantee you that Andy won’t let the universe make us typical. He will muster the energy needed to keep alive in us what makes us special. That won’t be easy, but it is critical. I also predict it will be satisfying and oftentimes fun.'' 

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