Amazon’s Prime membership program may have as many as 50 million members worldwide, RBC analyst Mark Mahaney said in a note to investors. According to a report by Re/code, Mahaney estimated that the company has between 30 million and 40 million Prime subscribers in the US, and a total of 40 million to 50 million worldwide. That squares with Amazon’s statement late last year that the company has “tens of millions” of Prime members. At the time, Mahaney said that there were between 20 million and 30 million subscribers worldwide.
If you know anything about Amazon’s PR tactics, you know the company almost never discloses sales numbers for specific products. So when the company strayed from its norm a bit late last year by saying that “tens of millions” of people were members of Prime, its paid subscription service for two-day shipping, analysts latched onto it. Respected analyst Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital ended up concluding that Prime has somewhere between 10 million and 20 million members in the U.S. and perhaps 20 million to 30 million worldwide. But in a research note today, Mahaney said RBC is now boosting that estimate to between 30 million and 40 million in the U.S. and 40 million to 50 million globally. Why the change? A survey of more than 4,000 Amazon customers conducted by RBC Capital this month found that 37 percent were current Prime members. And RBC says that percentage leads to its new estimates.