It's a new year and evidently a great time for Amazon to tell us how many items the company shipped over the past 365 days. Amazon says today that more than 5 billion items were shipped through its Prime program last year, which includes free same-day, one-day, and two-day shipping. Amazon also says, "more new paid members joined Prime worldwide this year than any previous year."
Alongside the new factoid, Amazon published a list of the most popular Prime items. Apparently people love to order bananas through AmazonFresh, and the Instant Pot was the best seller on Prime Day. Who knew.
We, unfortunately, have relatively little information about how many Prime members existed prior to 2017 or even during the year. The last stat TechCrunch found came from the company's Q4 2016 earnings report, in which it reported “tens of millions” of new paid Prime members. Amazon later confirmed that it meant 20 million subscribers. Last year, the company also said more than a billion items shipped through Prime during the 2016 holidays.
The updated numbers make sense given that Amazon launched in Mexico, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Singapore this past year. Those countries might not add a ton of subscribers, but they certainly help, as does the company's earlier launches in India and China. Amazon emphasizes the global nature of its Prime offerings, beyond shipping, in its year-end roundup. The company says more than 17 million viewers watch Thursday Night Football in 200 countries and territories. Football is our Prime uniter.