Jeff Bezos' Most Important Project Is Amazon Prime, and Everyone is Watching

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos has a lot on his plate, whether it is the company’s recent entrance into the smartphone market connected-TVs or his long-term plan to create a fleet of delivery drones and more personally, make the Washington Post really grow online.

However, Wall Street will ultimately judge Bezos’s myriad of projects by the success of Amazon Prime.

A Prime membership was once simply a way for users to ensure the free two-day shipping of their online orders. Now, it membership includes access to over a million songs, Kindle book libraries, movies, TV shows and original programming. Amazon's release of its Amazon Fire TV and the upcoming launch of its Amazon Fire Phone, in addition to the company's line Kindle Fire tablets, all add to the prominence of Prime within Amazon's strategy.

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Amazon's goal, it increasingly appears, is to increase loyalty among its customers, making the company an increasingly sticky player in the e-commerce market. If spending on music or original TV programming translates into higher spending or purchase volumes among consumers, Amazon may recoup its costs. Meanwhile, e-commerce remains a market that is early in its development, giving companies like Amazon an incentive to sacrifice current profits for longer-term market share gains.

But, if Amazon is casting a wide net on its investments, Wall Street analysts might alternatively focus upon Prime membership figures to judge whether Bezos's efforts are succeeding.

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