Sales up 15 percent to $29.3 billion, Amazon Prime boost credited
Amazon released its fourth quarter and annual numbers today, through a its investor relations site and a web cast conference call. Prime service membership was called out as a key contributing factor towards increases in Q4 and full year 2014 numbers, with new Prime membership growing slightly faster in markets outside North America.
Last same-day delivery by Amazon before Christmas 3 cases of energy drink
In a release today, Amazon claims that the company's 20th holiday season has brought "record growth" to the Amazon Prime subscription service, despite a price hike to $100 per year earlier in 2014. Amazon reports that more than 10 million new members worldwide tried Prime for the first time, with nearly 60 percent of customers shopping on a mobile device. Other highlights from Amazon for the holiday point to the Fire TV Stick being the fastest-selling Amazon device ever, expansion of Sunday delivery to thousands of US cities, and delivery to 185 countries.
Free storage applies to photos only, videos still count against storage
Amazon has unveiled another benefit for Amazon Prime purchasers. Effective immediately, the company has granted unlimited storage for personal photos in Amazon Cloud Drive for US Prime users. The benefit was previously only available to Amazon Fire Phone owners. Additionally, the photo storage doesn't count against Cloud Drive storage limits in any way.
Bundle combines HBO, HBO Go with local TV channels, Internet
AT&T is following Comcast's lead, in offering a basic service aimed at cord-cutters. The bundle combines a basic television service with Internet at a relatively low cost, and while it copies Comcast in providing HBO and HBO Go under the subscription, it also unusually adds in one year of free Amazon Prime deliveries and Prime Instant Video.
Video credits offered to Prime subscribers opting for slower order deliveries
Amazon has made some changes to two of its delivery-based services. Users of Amazon Prime deliveries are reportedly being given video credits as an incentive to opt for slower deliveries. Amazon Fresh, the grocery delivery service operated by the retailer in a limited number of locations, is expanding its reach into San Diego, California.
Three prepares to offer subscribers free Wi-Fi in London Underground
British carrier Three is following the lead of other carriers in the country, by offering free Wi-Fi on the London Underground. The Next Web reports the carrier will be working with Virgin Media, the company that set up the original Wi-Fi network for the 2012 Olympic Games, to provide customers free access to the Wi-Fi network in 137 stations without buying a Wi-Fi pass. Three hopes to open up the network to its customers by the end of this month.
IMDb Movies & TV app for iOS adds listings, Amazon Instant Video
Movie, television and celebrity information database IMDb has updated its app for iOS today. The free program allows users to find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, and create a "must-see" list of shows and films. In v4.2, users can now access US-wide television listings. Additionally, Amazon Prime is now integrated, meaning that whether a title is available on Amazon Prime is indicated upon searching. If the Amazon Instant Video app is installed, the media can be played immediately. The showtimes page design has been revamped, and a ratings history bug has been fixed.The IMDb iOS app requires iOS 7.0 or later.
Price rise of Amazon Prime in United States follows changes in UK, Germany
Amazon is raising the price of its Prime subscription in the United States in April. The existing $79 annual rate, which provides access to free two-day shipping, Prime Instant Video, and the Kindle Owner's Lending Library, will increase on April 17th to $99 per year, and comes after similar recent price changes to Amazon Prime in areas of Europe.
Steep price increase comes with renamed Lovefilm service
Amazon is readying a price hike for its Prime service in Germany before the end of the month. On February 26, users will see a rate increase that comes after the company renamed its streaming video service Lovefilm to Amazon Prime Instant Video in order to pair it with existing Prime subscriptions.
Prime expanded in UK with Lovefilm rebranding, price hike
Amazon is re-branding its Lovefilm video-streaming service in the United Kingdom to Amazon Prime Instant Video, at the same time as combining it with the existing Prime delivery subscription and Kindle Lending Library. The move, which will see customers able to use both services for one payment, brings Amazon UK in line with what is offered to users in the United States.
Amazon adds 1M new Prime members in third week of December
Amazon has wrapped up what it is calling its "best ever" holiday, and the online retailer has added an additional one million subscribers to its Amazon Prime service in a short span of time. A press release from the retailer pointed out that Amazon Prime gained another million subscribers – at $79 per year each – in just the third week of December. On the whole, the 2013 holiday shopping season produced solid results for Amazon, with more than 36.8 million items ordered worldwide on Cyber Monday, and enough items shipped with Prime this holiday to deliver at least one gift to every household in America.
No plans to offer streaming video with Prime in Canada
Amazon has launched its lauded subscription-based Prime delivery service in Canada. The all-you-can-eat delivery service offers users free two-day delivery across the country, though it offers a more stripped-down version of the retailer's own offering in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Prime reverted to yearly-only charging
Amazon has stopped offering its customers a monthly payment option for its Prime service. The company recently included an option for US customers to pay $8 per month instead of $80 per year for the two-day delivery and Prime Instant Video streaming service, but has since switched it back to yearly-only.
Monthly option more expensive, easier to afford
Amazon is testing out a different payment system for its Prime service. Traditionally set at $80 per year, the unlimited free two-day delivery service has been changed to allow for a monthly payment of $8 instead of a lump sum. While easier for customers to pay, opting away from the yearly payment works out to be almost $17 more expensive.
Video streaming service includes Season Pass shows
Amazon has released long-anticipated mobile app for the iPad, Instant Video. The title lets users watch a "selection of top Prime Instant Video titles" from the Amazon Prime subscription catalog, with an option to download content for offline viewing. Also present in the app is access to a watchlist and queue, along with automatic access to Season Pass TV episodes on the day after they have been broadcast.
Amazon Prime catalog actually much smaller
Amazon drew flak on Thursday after it was accused of and later confirmed inflating its Amazon Prime video catalog. The company acknowledged to Fast Company that it counts each individual TV episode as a show, leading to even just one long-running TV series representing a large part of its catalog. A roster of 17,000 titles claimed by Amazon amounted to 1,875 titles, all but 150 of which were movies.
Amazon adds Discovery shows to Prime offerings
Amazon has just revealed a deal with Discovery Communications that will let Amazon Prime members stream content from the media company. This includes episodes from non-current seasons from Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science and Military Channel, and other content that dates back 25 years. Some of the available shows will include Dirty Jobs, Say Yes To The Dress, and Whale Wars.
Amazon not making changes to its Prime model soon
Amazon won't split its streaming video service from Prime Instant Video in the near future despite rumors to the contrary. Brad Beale, Head of Digital Video Content Acquisition at Amazon, said during a Wednesday interview with GigaOM that this is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Previously, a letter to shareholders from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings mentioned that he expects Amazon to introduce a service that would undercut its own.
Lending library grows to 75,000 titles
In November, Amazon launched its Lending Library for Kindle owners. Today the online retailer released statistics illustrating the success of the initiative. For the month of December, the first full month that online lending catalog was available, readers borrowed more than 295,000 e-books.
ABC and Disney stay online with Amazon, Netflix
Disney and its ABC division on Monday recommitted themselves to Internet video Monday with separate deals for Amazon Instant Video and Netflix. Both deals give it access to all prior seasons of both active and recently ended shows as well as back catalog access. Amazon's deal gives it both access to on-demand Instant Video as well as unlimited access for Prime subscribers.
Amazon signs content deal with Disney-ABC TV
Amazon has announced a new licensing agreement with Disney-ABC Television that will give Amazon Prime subscribers access to a slew of new content. Shows will come from the group's ABC Studios, Disney Channel, ABC Family and Marvel. The new content is aimed at bolstering the already strong content line-up available for Amazon's Kindle Fire Android tablet with owners receiving free access for one month, right out of the box.
Adds titles from many PBS classics to library
Amazon and PBS have expanded the scope of their video content deals. Under the new agreement, Amazon Prime members will have access over 1,000 episodes of PBS programs. Amazon is beefing up its content library in anticipation of shipping its newest reader/tablet, the $199 Kindle Fire, on November 15.
Amazon Prime eBooks to be subscription service
Amazon's at least proposed strategy for subscription e-book downloads was validated through a source code discovery in the Kindle management page. Mentions caught by MobileRead show code strings verifying whether devices are "Prime_eBooks_compatible" as well as references to checked out Prime books. It's implied that, rather than go strictly unlimited, Amazon would have users "borrow" a certain number of books for the $79 outlay of a yearly Prime subscription..