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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed Wednesday that there are more than 100 million global subscribers to Amazon Prime, the company's membership program.

Prime members pay $99 a year, or $49 for students, to receive free, expedited shipping on more than 100 million items. In the letter, Bezos said 2017 marked the first year when more than half of the goods sold on Amazon worldwide were from third-party sellers.

The real money, though, is in the buying power these shoppers wield: Prime members reportedly spend an average of $1,300 a year on Amazon, compared with $700 for its customers who are not members.

Prime isn't the largest paid internet service, however.

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Previously, the Seattle-based company has put the number at "tens of millions", and estimates have been as high as 90 million.

13 years post-launch, we have exceeded 100 million paid Prime members globally.

The new high in subscriptions at Prime, launched 13 year ago, was among milestones from 2017 shared by Bezos in the letter, a copy of which was filed with U.S. securities regulators. "But high standards (widely deployed and at all levels of detail) are certainly a big part of it", Bezos wrote in the letter.

Brendan Witcher, a principal analyst at Forrester, said the number of subscribers makes clear that Amazon "keeps laying on more and more reasons for consumers to become Prime members". 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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