Surging Amazon Prime hits 79M subscribers, on pace to pass pay TV

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With more than 80% of American homes that qualify as “wealthy” already subscribing to Prime, Amazon is now targeting lower-income consumers with promotional tools like monthly payment options instead of yearly lump sums.

Amazon Prime has seen membership swell to 79 million from just 66 million at the end of 2016, according to MorningStar, putting the wide-reaching service, which includes at its core an SVOD component, on pace to soon surpass the pay TV ecosystem. 

The two data points were tied together by Recode, which cited S&P Global Intelligence in noting that the U.S. cable, satellite and telco TV market currently stands at 90.30 million subscribers. 

With Amazon’s growth rate accelerating, and pay TV user losses expected to surpass 1 million in the second quarter, Recode predicted that Amazon Prime could pass pay TV in penetration as soon as next year. 

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RELATED: Amazon offering $10 credit to get Prime customers to stream videos

Amazon doesn’t release figures on its Prime subscriber base. Morning Star pieced together the user projection based on cash-flow statements. 

With more than 80% of American homes that qualify as “wealthy” already subscribing to Prime, Amazon is now targeting lower-income consumers with promotional tools like monthly payment options instead of yearly lump sums.

And with only a fraction of the Prime base tuning to the SVOD service, Amazon is also offering credits for users who watch video. 

The company is offering a $10 credit to use on Prime Day, which this year takes place on July 11. To get the money, Prime customers need to stream an Amazon Prime video on an eligible device for the first time ever on or before July 7. The video has to be from Prime—Videos purchased through Amazon or SVODs purchased through Amazon Channels don’t count.

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