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Jeff Bezos: Raising the price of Amazon Prime was a great decision

Raising the price of Amazon Prime to $99 from $79 was the right decision, Jeff Bezos crowed in the company’s Q4 2014 earnings report released Thursday.

“The data is in and customers agree,” Bezos said:

On a base of tens of millions, worldwide paid membership grew 53 percent last year — 50 percent in the U.S. and even a bit faster outside the U.S. Prime is a one-of-a-kind, all-you-can-eat, physical-digital hybrid — in 2014 alone we paid billions of dollars for Prime shipping and invested $1.3 billion in Prime Instant Video. We’ll continue to work hard for our Prime members.

Of course, if you want to know the actual number of Prime subscribers you’re out of luck.

Revenue was $29.33 billion for the fourth quarter, up 15 percent over the same period last year, and a total of $88.99 billion for 2014, up 20 percent over 2013.

[company]Amazon[/company] also actually saw some profit — $214 million for the quarter, compared to $239 million for the same time in 2013. But for the full year Amazon lost money, seeing a net loss of $241 million in 2014 compared to profit of $274 million in 2013. After all, as Prime grows, so do shipping and video costs.

Amazon Web Services appears to be growing, and my colleague Barb Darrow has more on that here. The “other” category of the earnings report, which includes AWS, pulled in $1.67 billion for the quarter, up 43 percent over the same time last year.

Amazon is holding an investor call at 2 p.m. PT and I’ll be on the call.

This post was updated several times on Thursday afternoon.

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