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Amazon Prime poised to leapfrog pay TV in the US

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By John Glenday | Reporter

July 10, 2017 | 2 min read

Amazon Prime’s popularity in the US is now such that the fledgling streaming service is on track to become more popular than the entire cable TV industry combined, according to the latest market survey by Morningstar.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime poised to leapfrog pay TV in the US

The remorseless growth in Amazon Prime subscribers, which now stands at close to 79m US households, together with a steady decline in cable subscriptions, projected to dip to 90m this year by S&P Global, is likely to see the point of crossover occur sometime in 2018.

That is not to say that Amazon Prime is now more popular than pay TV however, as most subscribers do so primarily with the expedited delivery of products foremost in their minds, but does give an indication of Amazon’s success in broadening the appeal of its upper tier service to lower income households.

Amazon has begun offering discounts to households in receipt of government assistance and introduced a monthly payment plan to lure people who might otherwise have balked at the $99 annual fee.

Morningstar’s estimate isn’t the last word on Amazon Prime membership however as Amazon itself refuses to divulge official numbers, forcing analysts to guesstimate based on the firm’s cash flow statement – resulting in a range of estimates from as low as 60 million US subscribers to as many as 85 million.

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