April has been a generally weird month for many of us. But if there’s one person that’s immune to the waves of “is this the real life, or is this just fantasy” vibes that are circulating, it’s Jeff Bezos. The richest man in the world and his corresponding jungle of commerce have had an incredible first quarter. And to maintain the services that are creating that success, they’re gonna have to get the funds from somewhere… which means if you’ve got an annual prime membership, expect to see it surge.
Due to both a spike in online sales and heightened demands for Amazon’s cloud services, the e-commerce giant majorly surpassed Wall Street’s expectations. Yuki Noguchi of NPR explained that profits more than doubled:
“Amazon’s profits roughly tripled what analysts had been expecting. Demand for its retail business soared, and its myriad investments in other areas, from cloud computing to streaming media services and its Alexa smart speaker system also paid off.”
Sales soared to $51 billion. That’s a 43% increase over last year’s results. And the net income was $1.6 billion.
Of course, there’s no stopping Bezos and Co., who are currently involved in other world domination – erm – major business plans. From purchasing Whole Foods to the Amazon Echo and rumors of in-house robots coming to a doorstep near you, its little surprise that Amazon did so well. Despite their heavy spending (and a whole lot of hype surrounding their HQ2), they’ve still managed to surpass their financial goals.
That’s all great news for the richest man in the world, who owns 16% of Amazon.
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Amazon announced on Thursday that its annual Prime membership fee will increase from $99 to $119. According to executives at the company, the spike is due to the higher costs it will take to maintain the prime program, such as shipping fees.
The heightened fee will go into effect on May 11 for new U.S. prime members, and the increased fee will apply to renewal memberships beginning on June 16. Amazon last raised its annual fee four years ago. But earlier this year, they increased their monthly rate by $2 to $12.99.
According to eMarketer, Amazon commands approximately 43 cents of every dollar spent on the internet. So most people will probably continue to cough up the extra 20 bucks for the amount that they get with the service, like free two-day shipping and streaming services.
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Data Source: npr.com