Amazon celebrates 20 years with "more deals than Black Friday"

Amazon turns 20 next week, and to celebrate, the mega-e-retailer is declaring July 15 "Prime Day." The company says that a week from Wednesday it will offer shoppers "more deals than Black Friday" -- if they have a $99-a-year membership to Amazon Prime.

The one-day event will serve not only to reward the 40 million current Prime members, but to woo new ones to pay the subscription fee for a host of shopping perks and access to Amazon's streaming media libraries.

"If you're not already a Prime member, you'll want to join so you don't miss out on one of the biggest deals extravaganzas in the world," said Greg Greeley, vice president of Amazon Prime, in a statement.

Prime gives members free two-day shipping on more than 20 million items. And boy do they take advantage. According to a ComScore report earlier this year, Prime members make twice as many purchases as and spend 40 percent more money than non-members.

With Prime, Amazon isn't just trying to sell products, which have helped annual revenues grow nearly tenfold to $90 billion over the last decade but have done little for profits. It's also an important entrée into Amazon's streaming media services, Prime Instant Video and Prime Music, as the company tries to compete with the likes of Netflix for movies, television and original programming, as well as Spotify and the new Apple Music. Amazon has also entered the cloud photo-storage space with Prime Photos.

Starting at midnight PST July 15, Prime Day will include 24 hours of exclusive sales popping up as often as every ten minutes on electronics, video games, clothing, toys and more. All with free two-day shipping, of course.

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