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Sixty-Four Percent Of U.S. Households Have Amazon Prime

19 June 2017

From Forbes:

Amazon is big. Four out of every 10 dollars spent online in the U.S. is with Amazon (43 percent). Eighty percent of online growth comes from Amazon sales. Currently, there are approximately 80 million Amazon Prime members – that’s 64 percent of households in the U.S.! These stats and facts about Amazon come from the keynote speakers at the Internet Retailers Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) that took place in Chicago earlier this month.

What does the future look like for online retailing? According to Internet Retail, online sales grew faster in 2016 than they had in the past three years and account for 11.7 percent of overall retail sales. As online sales grow, sales at traditional brick-and-mortar stores will erode. Traditional retailers are worried that online sales will “disrupt” them and put them out of business. Some should be concerned, but not all.

Stores are closing in almost every market. Major retailers like Sears and Macy’s have closed hundreds of stores. Are online retailers like Amazon to blame? That’s part of the reason, but not the only reason. It’s common knowledge that the traditional retail industry is overbuilt. There are simply too many malls and stores.

Link to the rest at Forbes

Which means that 64% of US households have access to the Kindle Owners Lending Library.


18 Comments to “Sixty-Four Percent Of U.S. Households Have Amazon Prime”

  1. …and Prime Reading.
    Plus Kindle First.

    Btw, I can’t quite imagine the BPHs enlisting Watson to help them price their ebooks:

    “IBM demonstrated some of its latest technology that helps retailers determine how to promote, price and manage inventory. Imagine Watson, IBM’s cognitive solution, taking a retailer through three important steps in an online product launch. First, Watson takes a look at past data, trends and prior successful promotions to suggest what is appropriate for this product at this moment. Second, Watson makes suggestions on what to say and how to promote, including photos that work, promotional copy and pricing strategies. Finally, it collects data on how customers are reacting, or in other words, is the promotional working? Are sales up or down, and why? Watson interprets all of that data and suggests appropriate changes that may be needed.”

    • Felix, Gotta have good data first. The results of the best algorithm are no better than the accuracy of the original data. I doubt the BPHs have data.

      • Felix J. Torres

        They have sales reports, no?
        Odds are Watson can read the ebooks, correlate to sales, and tell them exactly who to fire. 😉

    • First, Watson takes a look at past data, trends and prior successful promotions to suggest what is appropriate for this product at this moment.

      Sure. But that first step is a huge endeavor. Watson has to have something to look at. I doubt it exists in a collected and usable format.

      If they had that kind of data, they might not even need Watson.

  2. My wife is the prime member, which makes sense once you compare the number of amazon boxes with her name on them to the ones with my name on them. I have family prime, which gives me access to the shipping benefit, but sadly, not the lending library.

    • you can have multiple people on one Kindle account.

    • I have the same issue as DaveMich, in reverse. My husband is the primary account holder, simply because he set Prime up first. We probably both have a lot of packages delivered. However I read more genres and much more volume than he does. And no access to all the enhanced benefits of Prime, not the lending library or the free music service. I just use his logon for Amazon prime videos. But books and music are a problem. I have hundreds of books under my House account email address. We don’t have the same taste at all and we each have multiple devices (iPads, iPhones and Kindles), which we each want to sync to our personal library based on our preferences. So sharing an account really doesn’t work.
      He does not use any of the enhanced features other than Video. The others just go unused. If I could have access I would definitely use them. Instead, I often buy buy music from iTunes instead of Amazon. I am also the primary buyer of music. I’ve been using iTunes for years and have no reason to switch since I don’t have free access to Amazon Music anyway. Which I sort of resent. I hope they expand that, but it will be harder to displace my habits the more time that goes by.

  3. Jonathan Mattson

    So in order for those two statistics in the first page to be true. To hold 43% now, AND have 80% of the growth.

    That means amazon (assuming government statistics of about 14% e-retail growth is correct) had “only” 37.8% of the online market last year. So grew by almost 30% while the rest of the online growth was under 5%. Along lines with regular retail.


    • Jonathan Mattson

      And as an aside, do you think they are confusing members with households?

      As in very sloppy or misleading survey. 1 – do you have prime in your house? (Yes) 2 – How many people are in your house? (5)

      5 prime members which then in this story turns into 5 households…. because either that math is way off or my local sample is skewed really badly. Out of my relatives and immediate coworkers we are no where near 64% and once you start adding in friends/former coworkers you will probably get to 64% having ordered on amazon, but not all are prime members.

      Is my sample off, or is that roughly what others see from there experience?

      • 80 million Prime members.
        64% of 320 million US population is 205 million.
        205 million divided by 80 million is a household size of 2.56.

        Average US household size via Stastica is 2.53.

        Forbes is assuming Prime members are evenly distributed across households. That is, if there are 10 households with 25 total members, 6 households will have 1 Prime member, 4 households will have no Prime members, and no households will have 2 or more Prime members. The assumption is invalid.

  4. I’m very skeptical about this 64% number. Strikes me as enormously high. Frankly, I don’t believe it. Show me the data used to arrive at this number; otherwise I’ll be in the non-believers column.

  5. 87% of all statistics are made up. Like this one.

  6. “Which means that 64% of US households have access to the Kindle Owners Lending Library.”

    Do 64% of households own a Kindle?

    Probably not, so no they do not have access to KOLL.

    • Prime Reading and one-checkout-a-month from Kindle Unlimited can be accessed via the Discover tab in the Kindle app on an iPhone.

      I’d expect similar access from the Kindle app on Android phones and any computers with the Kindle program.

      Counting households via Prime memberships can get tricky. More than one household can share a Prime membership or a single household can have multiple Prime accounts.

      • “Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is available for Amazon Prime members—paid Amazon Prime, paid Amazon Student, 30-day free trial, and customers receiving a free month of Prime benefits with a Fire tablet—who own a Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet, or Fire phone …”

        “Note: Borrowed books cannot be read on Kindle reading apps.”


        It’s really odd how Amazon never expanded KOLL beyond US hardware owners.

        • Felix J. Torres

          Not so odd.
          It is the priciest of their “free” book perks as it includes a fair amount of tradpub titles they pay full freight for and no controls over the monthly cost, unlike Prime Reading, which draws from the KU titles so it has controlled costs.

          Kindle First reportedly pays a lump sum, which might make it both the cheapest and the most valuable to both readers and authors.

  7. “Currently, there are approximately 80 million Amazon Prime members – that’s 64 percent of households in the U.S.!”

    Yeah, you don’t know that there are 80 million Prime members in the US. That was an estimate, not a statistical fact.

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