17 Incredible Amazon Prime Facts and Stats Some of these things might convince you to join the phenomenon.

By Rose Leadem

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Tommaso Boddi | Getty Images

Amazon Prime, the ecommerce giant's annual subscription service, which costs $119 as of May 11 for new customers and June 16 for existing members, launched more than 12 years ago in the U.S. There are now more than 100 million American Prime members.

Related: 15 Weird Things We've Learned About Jeff Bezos

Of course, it's not only the free two-day shipping that comes along with a Prime membership that keeps customers hooked. For that $119 a year or $12.99 a month, people can enjoy TV shows and movies through Amazon Prime Video as well as free books, magazines and audiobooks through Kindle and Audible.

Here are 16 incredible Amazon Prime facts and stats.

Additional reporting by Nina Zipkin

It launched in 2005.

While Amazon Prime is hitting its peak in popularity now, expanding to countries around the world and with tens of millions of members just in the U.S., the program actually launched 12 years ago. In fact, Amazon Prime officially went live in February 2005 as an "all-you-can-eat express shipping" program.

There are more than 80 million Prime members just in the U.S.

Over the past two years, Amazon Prime membership has nearly doubled. As of April of 2017, there was a reported 80 million Prime members just in the U.S., which is a whopping 64 percent of American households. In March 2015, there were a little more than 40 million Prime members.

Most Prime members pay for the year up front.

While there's the option to pay a monthly subscription for Prime, which is $10.99 per month, most members choose to pay annually. Only 26 percent choose to pay on a month-to-month basis.

Related: Amazon Marketplace: It's Bigger Than It Looks

Prime members spend more.

According to research, Amazon Prime members tend to spend more per year, around $1,300, on the ecommerce site than non-members, who spend an average $700.

It offers discounts to anyone on government assistance.

To make sure everyone has the opportunity to take advantage of a Prime membership, Amazon offers a discounted membership to anyone on government assistance. If an individual has a state-issued debit card that's meant for government benefits, they can pay $5.99 a month for a Prime subscription.

You can get cash back on purchases.

While there is an Amazon cash back credit card, you don't need to open one up to take advantage of a cash back deal on purchases. Its rewards program, Amazon Prime Reload, lets members load funds from a personal debit card onto their Amazon account balance. When they pay using these funds, they'll get 2 percent cash back.

Use Prime to store your photos.

Amazon Prime members get a number of perks including free two-day shipping, discounts and music and video streaming services, but another perk you probably didn't know about is unlimited photo storage, called Prime Photos. Prime members can invite up to five of their family or friends to also receive unlimited photo storage and share photos together. Prime Photos is available on desktop, tablets and smartphones.

Students get discounted memberships.

Prime Student offers current students a 50 percent discount on prime memberships. So if you're still in school, Prime is only $49 a year. Another perk of Prime Student is great discounts on textbooks.

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Members also have access to free books, magazines and audiobooks.

Forget the library or bookstore; Prime Reading offers members a wide selection of books, magazines and even audiobooks. From the latest issue of Travel + Leisure to Harry Potter, members can read or listen through the Kindle app on their tablet or smartphone.

It’s gone global.

Amazon Prime is not only offered to Americans. People around the world have been using the service for a couple years now. It's available in the U.K., Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and Austria, in some countries under the name "Amazon Premium."

Millennials shop on Amazon the most.

Research conducted before Amazon Prime Day in July 2017 revealed that out of any other generation, millennials are the most frequent Amazon shoppers and were the most likely to take advantage of Prime Day deals. According to the study, 79 percent of millennials said they had purchased something from Amazon.com within the past month.

People love Amazon Prime.

With so many perks, it's pretty safe to say that people are loving Amazon Prime. According to a study, 25 percent of consumers rated Prime as their favorite loyalty program.

The physical bookstores are only useful for Prime members.

As of October 2017, there are 12 Amazon bookstores across the country and three more on the way. However, recently releasing its earnings report, which for the first time included "physical stores," the ecommerce giant showed that very little of its earnings were from Amazon bookstores. So, turns out, the real benefit of Amazon's bookstores is for Prime members. The price of books for non-members at Amazon's stores are the same as those at a Barnes & Noble or independent store. The case is different for Prime members, who can enjoy their special discounts and prices.

Related: Everything You Can Do With Amazon Alexa

In some cities, you can get two-hour alcohol delivery.

Amazon Prime offers grocery delivery in a number of major cities across the country, and that includes alcohol, too. Prime Now booze delivery is available in Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego and eight other cities.

Girl Scout cookies are available at any time!

That's right -- you don't have to find a Girl Scout to score a box of Thin Mints. You can get them with Amazon Prime. Of course, non-Prime members can order them, too, but they can't enjoy free, fast shipping.

2017 was a major year for the program.

In his annual letter to shareholders, Jeff Bezos revealed that in 2017, Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items to Prime customers, including "tens of millions" Echo devices. He also shared that to date the program boasts more than 100 million members around the world.

Discounted shopping at Whole Foods.

As of June 27, all Amazon Prime members will be eligible for 10 percent off hundreds of sale items and discounts on other products, including baby back ribs, organic yellow peaches and mochi ice cream.

To get the discounts, download the Whole Foods Market app, sign in with your Amazon account and then scan the app's Prime Code at checkout. Alternatively, you can use your mobile phone number at checkout. Prime members can also get the lower prices by ordering through Prime Now.

Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for Entrepreneur.com. 

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