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Amazon Hits 200 Million Prime Memberships

Outgoing CEO Jeff Bezos says Prime memberships generated "$126 billion of value creation" last year in terms of time saved shopping online

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, in his final letter to shareholders as chief executive on Thursday, said the tech giant had surpassed 200 million Prime memberships.

That's 50 million more Prime customers than the last time Amazon shared an update in early 2020. An annual Prime membership runs customers $119 per year or $12.99 per month in the U.S.; members get certain perks from Amazon, including faster shipping and access to Amazon Prime Video, the company's streaming service. (For a look at how Amazon's streaming service stacks up against Netflix and other competitors in the U.S. when it comes to market share, click here.)

In the shareholder letter, Bezos touted Amazon's ability to "save customers time" when it comes to shopping. He said 28% of Amazon purchases happen in three minutes or less, and half happen in 15 minutes or less.

"Research suggests the typical physical store trip takes about an hour," Bezos said. "If you assume that a typical Amazon purchase takes 15 minutes and that it saves you a couple of trips to a physical store a week, that's more than 75 hours a year saved. That's important. We're all busy in the early 21st century."

He added: "So that we can get a dollar figure, let's value the time savings at $10 per hour, which is conservative. Seventy-five hours multiplied by $10 an hour and subtracting the cost of Prime gives you value creation for each Prime member of about $630. We have 200 million Prime members, for a total in 2020 of $126 billion of value creation."

Bezos added a few other pats on the back for Amazon in his letter, and also shared the company's net income was $21.3 billion last year. His letter comes after announcing in February he would be stepping down as Amazon CEO. Bezos will then transition to being executive chairman of the company's board.

Amazon's share price was up 1.8% in early morning trading on Thursday to $3,380 per share. The company's share price has increased 46% in the last year, and Amazon's stock price has spent much of the last 9 months hovering between $3,100 and $3,500 per share.