Amazon Prime marketing drive sparks 53% membership leap

Amazon’s marketing drive to boost awareness of its Prime streaming service has paid off with owner Jess Bezos revealing that global membership has leapt 53 per cent in a year.

Prime is Amazon’s key asset in its ambitious plan to create an ecosystem where users will spend more time and money. It offers free one-day delivery, access to unlimited music, TV shows and movies via Prime Instant Video alongside a plethora of free e-books. The retailer wants people to use their Amazon devices (Fire TV, Fire Phone and Kindle) to watch Amazon produced content, which would be surrounded by ads for its product listings.

While Bezos refused to reveal any specific data about membership in the fourth quarter announcement, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners suggested this week that there are around 40 million Amazon Prime members in the US. And they spend double that of non-Prime users; about $1,500 per year versus $625 per year.

It has created a strong platform for Amazon to target consumers with a slew of marketing campaigns to drive membership.

To woo users away from rival Netflix, it kicked off 2014 with a number of ads promoting the exclusive content on Amazon Prime Instant Video such as Golden Globe winning Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle.

A few months later it released its first campaign for Amazon Fire phone, then a spot appeared for Amazon Fire TV before it wrapped up the year with a campaign outlining the benefits across all of its platforms.

And Bezos shows no signs of slowing down.

"Prime is a one-of-a-kind, all-you-can-eat, physical-digital hybrid. In 2014 alone we paid billions of dollars for Prime shipping and invested $1.3bn in Prime Instant Video,” he said in yesterday’s earnings call. "We’ll continue to work hard for our Prime members."

The positive results continued elsewhere. Fourth quarter revenue was up 15 per cent year on year to $29.3bn and it reported an operating income of $591min Q4, compared to an operating loss of $544m the previous quarter.

The stronger than expected profits helped send the stock price soaring 7.5 per cent.

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