Amazon Prime Tops Dozens of Members

Published on December 26, 2013
by John Paczkowski

tommy_boy_excitedAmazon Prime — the retailer’s $79-a-year, free two-day shipping membership business — just charted a record-setting Christmas, ending the holiday season with a larger unspecified number of subscribers than it began it with.

In a self-congratulatory press release broadcast this morning, Amazon excitedly said that more than a million customers signed up for Prime membership during the third week of December, the last week to qualify for guaranteed holiday delivery. That’s a new record, and one that allows Amazon to claim “tens of millions” of Prime members worldwide.

Tens of millions. But what does that mean?

Well, Amazon would clearly prefer that we interpret that metric at the highest end of its range, which could be 40 million or 90 million depending on just how ridiculous you’re willing to get.

But it’s far more likely that “tens of millions” is a euphemism for “just barely enough for us to claim tens of millions.” In other words, roughly 20 million — the bare minimum to make ten plural. Which makes reasonable sense. A December estimate from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners put the total number of Amazon Prime subscribers at over 16 million as of September 30.

But until Amazon release an official number, we’ll never know for sure, leaving silly press releases like today’s open to interpretation*.

*See headline.

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