Prime membership just one of the many positive news to come out of the company's earnings report.
The last time Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos disclosed the number of Prime subscribers - who pay $119 a year for unlimited shipping, media services, discounts and other perks - was April 2018. "We've made Prime delivery faster - the number of items delivered to USA customers with Prime's free one-day and same-day delivery more than quadrupled this quarter compared to past year. And customers are responding - more people joined Prime this quarter than ever before, and we now have over 150 million paid Prime members around the world", said Bezos in the earnings release.
"That is what we're seeing - it's not anything sudden, but the progress on a long-term strategy of ours", Olsavsky said. Amazon's net sales increased 21 percent to $87.4 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $72.4 billion in Q4 2018. "Members now have free two-hour grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market in more than 2,000 USA cities and towns". It did not provide specific numbers.
Amazon had briefly hit the milestone two years ago but only recovered it last night as shares reached an all-time high thanks to stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter sales.
"We've made Prime delivery faster - the number of items delivered to U.S. customers with Prime's free one-day and same-day delivery more than quadrupled this quarter compared to past year", said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.
Amazon's move towards one-day shipping did little to hurt its bottom line during the holiday season, with the e-commerce giant reporting on Thursday afternoon its Q4 earnings easily surpassed Wall Street's expectations.
In addition to free shipping on products, Amazon Prime members get access to thousands of titles on Prime Video, including the company's originals. Amazon's shares shot up over 10% in after-hours trading.
Amazon says it expects net sales between $69 billion and $73 billion in the first quarter of 2020, ending in March, representing growth of 16% to 22%, with operating income between $3 billion and $4.2 billion, down from $4.4 billion in the first quarter of 2019.