Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More shipments now use Amazon Prime free-two day shipping, rather than Super Saver Shipping

It's still unclear exactly how many Amazon Prime subscribers Amazon.com has, as the company won't release numbers, but on Monday, the company announced that more items are now shipped with Prime's free two-day shipping than with its regular Super Saver Shipping.

Super Saver Shipping, which began in 2002, offers free shipping on orders over $25, assuming the order is directly from Amazon.com or fulfilled by Amazon.com.

Amazon Prime, on the other hand, launched in 2005 and costs $79 annually. It began by offering users free two-day shipping - with no order limit - and lower-cost one-day shipping (with the same restrictions as above). Since then, the company has added other perks, such as access to Prime Instant Video, a subset of the company's Instant Video libary, as well as opening the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows Prime members with Kindle devices (not apps) to borrow one free book a month with no due dates. 

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon said,

“Since Amazon launched in 1995, we’ve been focused on growing selection for our customers. Following the introduction of Amazon Prime in 2005, we’ve worked hard to grow Prime selection as well. We’re incredibly proud to be able to offer more than 15 million Prime items today. We’ve also grown the Prime Instant Video library to more than 22,000 movies and TV episodes, all with unlimited streaming, and Prime members can borrow more than 180,000 books for free, with no due dates, using the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – that’s up from roughly 5,000 when the program launched less than a year ago.

"Even seven years later, the price of Prime remains unchanged at $79 a year. Amazon Prime is the best bargain in the history of shopping, and it’s going to keep getting better.”

It's unclear if the shipping numbers are affected by the ability to share Prime memberships. Prime members can even share their Prime membership, or at least the shipping portion of it, with four other "household members," who, naturally, don't have to be household members.

To be clear, this sharing only applies to the shipping portion of Prime, though. Still, that "sharing" could skew these numbers.

Among the interesting Amazon Prime facts shared by Amazon.com in its press release:
  • The top two items purchased with Prime Free Two-Day Shipping this year so far are the Kindle Fire and the $79 Kindle. Kindle Touch is number three and “Fifty Shades of Gray: Book One” is number four.
  • Amazon Prime now features more than 15 million unique items, all with Prime Free Two-Day Shipping.
  • Amazon Prime members could order 500 different items with Prime Free Two-Day Shipping every day of their lives and still not order every Prime item.
  • In a given week, 96.4 percent of the Prime Instant Video catalog is viewed.
  • The number of titles available for unlimited streaming through Prime Instant Video has increased from roughly 5,000 titles at launch to over 22,000 today. Just this year alone, the title count has grown from 13,000 to over 22,000, an increase of 70 percent.
  • In addition to hundreds of compatible TVs and Blu-ray players, you can now watch Prime Instant Video on Kindle Fire, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and iPad.
  • The number of titles available through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library has increased from roughly 5,000 at launch, less than one year ago, to over 180,000 today.
  • The most watched TV show available through Prime Instant Video is Downton Abbey Season 1.
  • The most watched movie available through Prime Instant Video is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (English Subtitled).
  • All seven Harry Potter titles are now available to check out, for free, with no due dates through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
  • The most borrowed title in the history of Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is The Hunger Games.
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