Welcome Amazonians: Amazon facts and figures


29 September 2003

Returning from a short project we find more than usual activity on our website. Some investigation uncovers that our research paper Business Platforms: Profiting From Networks was mentioned in the latest Amazon Web Services newsletter.

A very warm welcome to all Amazonians, and below you’ll find a few facts and figures that may be of interest to you.

The newsletter mentioned is specific to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) developers: people who use the Amazon web services on their own web sites or who develop products or solutions incorporating Amazon Web Services.

Web Services and Associates

In the the paper, we argue that web services from the two biggest players may now account for some $2 billion revenues so it is certainly not a small business.

However, it was still a surprise for us to learn that the newsletter goes out to more than 23,000 people. That is a lot of developers by any standard.

Amazon’s affiliate network (Amazon Associates) now number over 1,000,000 participants. Some 187,235 sites are listed in Amazon’s directory which means that have generated revenue recently (for some unpublished definition of recent). Amazon does not publish how much they contribute to the overall revenue.

Revenues and Customers

Amazon are investing $200 million per year in their technology platform; current investment stands at over $1 billion.

We had some revenue numbers in the paper. To recap and expand: Amazon revenues are estimated at $5 billion for 2003. Domestically, Amazon accounts for about 4% of all online retail. Third-party sales, i.e. retailers selling through the Amazon platform, account for about 20% of revenues.

However, Amazon’s revenues are dwarfed by eBay: in 2002 the online auction site posted revenues of some $11 billion, compared with $3 billion for Amazon.

Amazon has 35 million active customers (where “active” is defined as having made a purchase within the last 12 months).

Your Turn

Do you know any fun facts or figures about Amazon? Please post them to the discussion, preferably with attribution of your source.