In a press release dated December 28th, world's largest online retailer, Amazon, announced that it has added as many as three million subscribers for its Prime program, in just the third week of this month alone. While the number looks pretty darn impressive at first glance, the company says that the figure represents the overall number of users signing up for the service, including trial users. Amazon, however, does not break down the number to indicate how many out of the three million are actually paying customers, which could be a significant factor, seeing as the service comes with a free evaluation period of one month. The press release also claims that this holiday season has been the biggest ever for the company, with twice as many Amazon devices (read: Kindle e-readers) sold as last year, which in itself, was a record-setting year for the company.
As for the Amazon Prime program that entitles buyers to free shipment on all products irrespective of the total order value, Amazon says that it has shipped over 200 million more items this year under the scheme than it did last year. While that does sound fairly impressive, the company has not given out any specific details about last year's numbers, on which, most of this year's number are based. The online retail giant also states that 'The Man in the High Castle' is now "the most-watched TV season on Prime Video this holiday by 4.5x". Prime members have apparently also "doubled their total viewing hours of Prime Video titles, compared to 2014". The company also says that its Kindle Fire tablet is now the "#1 best-selling, most gifted and most wished-for product across the millions of items available on Amazon.com since its introduction 15 weeks ago".
Earlier this year, Amazon increased the membership charges for its Prime program from $79 to $99 for regular users and from $39 to $49 for students with .edu e-mail IDs. However, the increase does not seem to have affected the popularity of the service, if the announcement from Amazon is anything to go by, even in the absence of any concrete, absolute numbers. Another notable declaration from Amazon claims that almost seventy percent of customers shopped on the site using a mobile device, which was a significant increase from nearly sixty percent that did so last year, and even though we're still in the dark about exact numbers, it still indicates the continuing popularity of smartphones compared to traditional desktops and laptops, as more people are choosing to connect to the net via mobile devices, ditching their broadband connections.