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Scott Guthrie about changes under Nadella, the competition with Amazon, and what differentiates Microsoft’s cloud products
From The cloud, not Windows 10, is key to Microsoft’s growth [Fortune, Oct 1, 2014]
- about changes under Nadella:
Well, I don’t know if I’d say there’s been a big change from that perspective. I mean, I think obviously we’ve been saying for a while this mobile-first, cloud-first…”devices and services” is maybe another way to put it. That’s been our focus as a company even before Satya became CEO. From a strategic perspective, I think we very much have been focused on cloud now for a couple of years. I wouldn’t say this now means, “Oh, now we’re serious about cloud.” I think we’ve been serious about cloud for quite a while.
More information: Satya Nadella on “Digital Work and Life Experiences” supported by “Cloud OS” and “Device OS and Hardware” platforms–all from Microsoft [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 23, 2014]
- about the competition with Amazon:
… I think there’s certainly a first mover advantage that they’ve been able to benefit from. … In terms of where we’re at today, we’ve got about 57% of the Fortune 500 that are now deployed on Microsoft Azure. … Ultimately the way we think we do that [gain on the current leader] is by having a unique set of offerings and a unique point of view that is differentiated.
- about uniqueness of Microsoft offering:
One is, we’re focused on and delivering a hyper-scale cloud platform with our Azure service that’s deployed around the world. …
… that geographic footprint, as well as the economies of scale that you get when you install and have that much capacity, puts you in a unique position from an economic and from a customer capability perspective …
Where I think we differentiate then, versus the other two, is around two characteristics. One is enterprise grade and the focus on delivering something that’s not only hyper-scale from an economic and from a geographic reach perspective but really enterprise-grade from a capability, support, and overall services perspective. …
The other thing that we have that’s fairly unique is a very large on-premises footprint with our existing server software and with our private cloud capabilities. …
Versus as it was presented in The lost U.S. grip on the mobile computing market, including not only the device business, but software development and patterns of use in general [this same blog, April 14, 2014]:
The global tablet market ticked up in the second quarter of 2014, although growth is still near the market’s historical low.
- Shipments hit about 44.3 million during the period, yielding year-over-year growth of 11%.
While an improvement from the previous quarter, consider that the tablet market had year-over-year growth of nearly 80% in the same quarter just a year ago.
- Although it lead all vendors with about 27% market share, Apple’s iPad shipments declined 9% year-over-year during the period. That marks the second consecutive quarter in which iPad shipments have declined.
- Samsung’s tablet shipments grew a paltry 1% for the period to hit 8.5 million units in the second quarter. That is an enormous slowdown compared to the growth rates it was achieving just a year ago. In the second quarter of 2013, Samsung tablet shipments grew 300% year-over-year.
- Both Apple and Samsung lost market share during the quarter. Apple’s leading market share fell from 33% to 27% while Samsung’s dipped two percentage points to 17%.
- “White-box” vendors = 41% of market
Worldwide Tablet Market Grows 11% in Second Quarter on Shipments from a Wide Range of Vendors, According to IDC [IDC press release, July 24, 2014]
The worldwide tablet grew 11.0% year over year in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14) with shipments reaching 49.3 million units according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Although shipments declined sequentially from 1Q14 by -1.5%, IDC believes the market will experience positive but slower growth in 2014 compared to the previous year.
“As we indicated last quarter, the market is still being impacted by the rise of large-screen smartphones and longer than anticipated ownership cycles,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC Research Director for Tablets. “We can also attribute the market deceleration to slow commercial adoption of tablets. Despite this trend, we believe that stronger commercial demand for tablets in the second half of 2014 will help the market grow and that we will see more enterprise-specific offerings, as illustrated by the Apple and IBM partnership, come to market.”
Despite declining shipments of its iPad product line, Apple managed to maintain its lead in the worldwide tablet market, shipping 13.3 million units in the second quarter. Following a strong first quarter, Samsung struggled to maintain its momentum and saw its market share slip to 17.2% in the second quarter. Lenovo continued to climb the rankings ladder, surpassing ASUS and moving into the third spot in the tablet market, shipping 2.4 million units and grabbing 4.9% markets share. The top 5 was rounded out by ASUS and Acer, with 4.6% and 2.0% share, respectively. Share outside the top 5 grew to an all time high as more and more vendors have made inroads in the tablet space. By now most traditional PC and phone vendors have at least one tablet model in the market, and strategies to move bundled devices and promotional offerings have slowly gained momentum.
“Until recently, Apple, and to a lesser extent Samsung, have been sitting at the top of the market, minimally impacted by the progress from competitors,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. “Now we are seeing growth amongst the smaller vendors and a levelling of shares across more vendors as the market enters a new phase.”
Worldwide Tablet Shipments Miss Targets as First Quarter Experiences Single-Digit Growth, According to IDC [IDC press release, May 1, 2014]
Worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 shipments slipped to 50.4 million units in the first calendar quarter of 2014 (1Q14) according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. The total represents a sequential decline of -35.7% from the high-volume holiday quarter and just 3.9% growth over the same period a year ago. The slowdown was felt across operating systems and screen sizes and likely points to an even more challenging year ahead for the category.
“The rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever longer periods of time were both contributing factors to a weaker-than-anticipated quarter for tablets and 2-in-1s,” said Tom Mainelli, IDC Program Vice President, Devices and Displays. “In addition, commercial growth has not been robust enough to offset the slowing of consumer shipments.”
Apple maintained its lead in the worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 market, shipping 16.4 million units. That’s down from 26.0 million units in the previous quarter and well below its total of 19.5 million units in the first quarter of 2013. Despite the contraction, the company saw its share of the market slip only modestly to 32.5%, down from the previous quarter’s share of 33.2%. Samsung once again grew its worldwide share, increasing from 17.2% last quarter to 22.3% this quarter. Samsung continues to work aggressively with carriers to drive tablet shipments through attractively priced smartphone bundles. Rounding out the top five were ASUS (5%), Lenovo (4.1%), and Amazon (1.9%).
“With roughly two-thirds share, Android continues to dominate the market,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. “Although its share of the market remains small, Windows devices continue to gain traction thanks to sleeper hits like the Asus T100, whose low cost and 2-in-1 form factor appeal to those looking for something that’s ‘good enough’.”
Digitimes Research: Global tablet shipments reach 55.06 million units in 2Q14 [press release, July 23, 2014]
There were 55.06 million tablets shipped globally in the second quarter of 2014, decreasing 4.5% on quarter but increasing 17.9% on year, according to Digitimes Research.
The shipments consisted of 14.1 million iPads, down 10% on quarter, and 18.96 million units launched by vendors other than Apple, down 12.7% on quarter. Additionaly, 22.3 million white-box units were shipped in the second quarter.
Shipments of small-size Wi-Fi-enabled units in particular slowed down in the second quarter and the time period was also a slow season for shipments. Supply chains also faced yield issues and Samsung saw less-than-expected shipments for its 8-inch tablets. Tablets sized 10-inch and above have seen shipment increases since fourth-quarter 2014.
Taiwan tablet makers meanwhile surpassed 20 million in shipments for brand tablets during the second quarter, which made up 60% of overall brand tablet shipments during the time period, added Digitimes Research.
Digitimes Research: Global tablet shipments drop 30% sequentially in 1Q14 [press release, April 23, 2014]
Global tablet shipments reached only 58.56 million units in the first quarter of 2014, down almost 30% sequentially, but up 4.6% on year despite Samsung Electronics trying to boost both its high-end and entry-level tablet shipments and Lenovo pushing shipments to meet its fiscal 2013 targets. Seasonality, Apple seeing weaker sales, and the tablet market growing mature were also factors that affected shipment performance, according to Digitimes Research.
Shipments of iPads suffered both on-year and sequential drops to reach 15.85 million units in the first quarter. Non-iPad tablet shipments were 22.31 million units, down 20% sequentially, but up over 30% on year thanks to strong demand for Samsung, Lenovo and Asustek’s Windows-based models. White-box tablet shipments reached only 20.4 million units due to seasonality and labor shortages during the Lunar New Year holidays.
Apple and Samsung remained the top-two vendors in the first quarter, but the two players’ market share gap was less than 6pp. Lenovo was the third-largest vendor, followed closely by Asustek Computer in fourth. Amazon and Google dropped to number seven and ten.
Taiwan ODMs shipped 22.15 million tablets together in the first quarter, accounting for less than 60% of global shipments. The largest maker, Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry), and second-largest Pegatron Technology both suffered significant shipment drops due to lower-than-expected demand for iPad. Quanta saw increased shipments in the quarter because of Asustek’s T100 tablet, and returned to being the third-largest maker in Taiwan. Compal Electronics’ shipments suffered a sharp decline because Amazon’s Kindle Fire range is approaching the end of its lifecycle, while Acer is turning to cooperate with China-based makers, Digitimes Research‘s figures showed.
Digitimes Research: Global white-box tablet shipments down in 1Q14 [press release, May 12, 2014]
There were 20.4 million white-box tablets shipped globally in the first quarter of 2014, decreasing by 27.4% on quarter and by 2.4% on year, according to Digitimes Research.
The decrease in shipments was mainly because most white-box vendors are based in China and there were fewer working days in the first quarter due to the Lunar New Year holidays, Digitimes Research pointed out.
Of the shipments, 7-inch models accounted for 70.5%, 7.85/7.9-inch ones 21.3%, 8- to 9-inch ones 4.2%, above 9- to 10-inch 2.9%, above 10-inch 1.1%.
Due to strong demand in emerging markets including India, Indonesia, Thailand, Russia and Eastern Europe, global white-box tablet shipments in the second quarter of 2014 will increase 14.2% on quarter and 45.6% on year to 23.3 million units.
Gary Busey Meets Amazon Fire TV [amazon YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]
Amazon unveils the FireTV [CNETTV YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]
Analyst commentary: Amazon Unveils Video-Streaming Device ‘Fire TV’ [WSJDigitalNetwork YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]
Introducing Amazon Fire TV: The Easiest Way to Watch Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, and More on Your Big-Screen TV [Amazon press release, April 2, 2014]
Powerful performance with 3x the processing power, 4x the memory, dedicated GPU, and dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi
Say it, watch it—use voice search to instantly find movies, TV shows, and more
New ASAP feature predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for playback before you even hit play
Huge, open ecosystem of entertainment—choose from over 200,000 movies and TV episodes
Plus, Fire TV comes with access to games from EA, Disney, Gameloft, Mojang, 2K, Amazon Game Studios, and more
My insert here: Amazon announces Fire TV, its own set top box: 90 Seconds on The Verge [The Verge YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apr. 2, 2014– (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Kindle revolutionized reading by making it possible to think of a book and be reading it in less than 60 seconds. Kindle Fire put the world’s largest selection of movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books, audiobooks, and magazines in the palm of your hand. In each case, Amazonintegrates the hardware, software, and the content into an easy-to-use, seamless, end-to-end service for customers. Today, Amazon is excited to unveil its newest innovation—Fire TV, a tiny box that plugs into your HDTV for easy and instant access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, SHOWTIME, low-cost video rentals, and much more. Fire TV also brings photos, music, and games to the living room. Meet Amazon Fire TV at www.amazon.com/FireTV.
“Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content, incredible price—people are going to love Fire TV,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Voice search that actually works means no more typing on an alphabet grid. Our exclusive new ASAP feature predicts the shows you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly. And our open approach gives you not just Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video, but also Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more. On Fire TV you can watch Alpha House and House of Cards.”
Prime (+Netflix comparison): Amazon may hike Prime cost as earnings disappoint and further challenges lay ahead of the company for which it needs to adjust its business model and expand its operations [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 31, 2014]
1. Cable and satellite video market (U.S. only)
2. Pay-TV market (cable and satellite, IPTV, terrestrial)
3. The overall TV market (home video, on demand video, linear TV)
4. IPTV—AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon FiOS video in particular
5. OTT (Over-the-top content)
within the Microsoft’s integrated solution for streaming video and Live TV providers on all devices, plus the upcoming live-action and “shared experience” TV of its own on Xbox [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 3, 2014] which also contains:
6. Microsoft’s live TV solution on Xbox
7. Preliminary information on the upcoming products from Xbox Entertainment Studios
8. Xbox Music and Xbox Video services for other devices
Amazon’s move into overall leadership: Kindle Fire HDX with Snapdragon 800, “revolutionary on-device tech support” (Mayday), enterprise and productivity capable Fire OS 3.0 forked from Android 4.2.2 etc. PLUS a significantly enhanced, new Kindle Fire HD for a much lower, $139 price [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 27, 2013]
My insert here: Hands On with Amazon Fire TV [TechCrunch YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]
Amazon Fire TV features:
- Voice search that actually works—simply speak the name of a movie, TV show, actor, director, or genre into the remote, and you’re done. No more hunting and pecking in an alphabet grid.
- All the content—instant access to Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, YouTube, and more, plus the largest selection of videos for rent and purchase—over 200,000 movies and TV episodes from Amazon Instant Video. Plus, listen to music with Amazon MP3, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more.
- Powerful performance in a tiny form factor—quad-core processor with over 3x the processing power of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3, a dedicated GPU, plus 4x the memory of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3 for exceptional speed and fluidity. Delivers stunning 1080p HD video and immersive Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. All of this comes in an incredibly small package—Fire TV is 0.7” thin and comes with a simple and sleek remote control with a built-in microphone.
- Simple and easy to use—arrives pre-registered so you can start watching immediately out of the box.
- An exclusive new feature called ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and buffers them for playback before you even hit play—instant start.
- High-quality, low-cost gaming—games like Minecraft, Monsters University, The Game of Life, The Walking Dead, NBA2K14, Asphalt 8, Riptide GP2, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and more. The average price of paid games on Fire TV is $1.85. Play using your Fire TV remote, the Fire TV app for smartphones and tablets, or the optional Fire game controller.
- Amazon FreeTime revolutionizes parental controls—parents can choose what their kids see and set time limits for types of content and times of day—no more negotiating for one more show before bedtime. Customers who subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited—Amazon’s all-you-can-eat content subscription designed for kids ages 3 to 8—will get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows.
- X-Ray for movies, TV shows, and music—see information about cast and crew, trivia, goofs, and synchronized lyrics.
- See all of your photos and personal videos come alive on your big-screen TV—seamless integration with Amazon’s Cloud Drive.
Simple and Easy to Use, with Powerful Performance
Powerful Quad-Core Processor and Graphics Engine
Fire TV features a world-class quad-core processor with 3x the processing power of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3, and a dedicated Adreno 320 graphics engine that processes 57 billion floating point instructions per second, for lightning-fast graphics and excellent fluidity. Fire TV comes with 2GB of memory, 4x the memory of Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku 3, so content loads faster and games run smoother.
New Amazon Fire TV powered by Snapdragon 600 processor [Qualcomm Snapdragon Blog, April 2, 2014]
Amongst popcorn aromas and home-theatre decor, today, Amazon announced Fire TV: a streaming set top box that aims to deliver just about every video streaming service in a compact, powerful package.
Addressing the media at today’s announcement in New York, Amazon.com’s Peter Larsen, Vice President of Kindle, identified three problems with today’s internet-enabled set-top boxes—search, performance, and a closed ecosystem—and detailed how Fire TV solves them.
Granted, search and content ecosystems are well within the purview of Amazon. But performance? That’s where Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors come in.
Sporting a Snapdragon 600 processor with quad-core CPU, the Fire TV has all the base capabilities you expect from a device that lives in your living room: Full HD 1080p streaming video, 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound, and a lighting-fast, ultra-stable dual-antenna Wi-Fi connection.
With three times the processing power of other set-top boxes, the Fire TV features silky-smooth menu navigation and content browsing. And utilizing the additional performance on tap, Amazon have introduced ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction), which automatically predicts, buffers, and stores the shows you want to watch—all you need to do is hit play, and they instantly start.
But this is Amazon, the everything store. And the Fire TV is the everything box.
Foremost of which is the new voice search. Just press a button on your remote, and the Fire TV can find John Malkovich’s entire body of work at the utterance of his name, or get Team Umizoomi up and streaming almost as fast as you children can yell “Umizoomi.”
In addition to the massive library of movies and TV shows available through just about every video streaming service on the planet; the dedicated Qualcomm Adreno GPU opens up the Fire TV to the gaming world. Available today are staples such Minecraft, The Walking Dead, NBA2K14 and more than 100 other games. In addition, the GPU will power Amazon’s first foray into video games: Sev Zero.
Additionally there’s Second Screen—allowing users to mirror music, movies, and photos from their Kindle Fire HDX (also powered by Snapdragon processors) to their TV. And unlike the set-top boxes that came before, Fire TV will feature X-Ray: A second screen experience, powered by IMDb, that provides viewers with relevant information—such as cast and crew bios, soundtrack credits, trivia, character backstories, and more—as their movie or show plays. Currently, X-Ray is available for Kindle Fire HDX users, with support for iPhone and iPad later this year.
Amazon’s Fire TV is available now for $99.
Streams in High Definition 1080p with Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound
With dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, Fire TV streams in up to full-HD 1080p and supports HDMI and optical audio-out, enabling up to 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.
Simple and Easy to Use
Fire TV comes automatically pre-registered so you can immediately get started. No complicated set-up, no hassle—just plug it in and start watching. All of your previously purchased movies and TV shows from Amazon, as well as personalized recommendations and your Watchlist, will be there waiting for you when you turn on Fire TV.
Designed to Disappear
Fire TV is designed to disappear. It is 0.7” thin, so it is easy to hide, and is silent even when running the most demanding applications.
Fire TV Remote
Fire TV’s remote is small, simple, and intuitive, with familiar controls. Search, browse, play, pause, and add titles to your Watchlist with ease. The Fire TV remote uses Bluetooth so there is no “line of sight” required, which means no reaching or struggling to aim your signal at a tiny target—store your Fire TV in a cabinet or behind the TV.
Voice Search that Actually Works
Gone are the days of searching for a movie or TV show by left-left-down-right-ing through an on-screen alphabet grid using your remote. Simply speak the name of a movie, TV show, actor, director, genre, app, or game into the remote, and the results will appear instantly. Voice search leverages the search data and expertise of Amazon.com and IMDb, and is optimized to understand Amazon’s video, app, and game catalog.
The Best Video Experience
Movies and TV Shows from Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and More
Fire TV comes with instant access to all of the most popular subscription video services, including Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, VEVO, SHOWTIME, Crackle, YouTube, and more, with additional services like WWE Network, MLB.TV, WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH ABC, and Twitch coming soon.
Prime Instant Video, with Exclusives and Original Shows
Fire TV is seamlessly integrated with Prime Instant Video, Amazon’s subscription streaming service. With tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, Prime Instant Video is the exclusive premium subscription streaming home for thousands of hours of video, including shows like Downton Abbey, The Americans, Workaholics, Justified, 24, Hannibal, Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob, and more. Prime Instant Video also includes shows from Amazon Studios, the original TV production arm of Amazon, such as Alpha House from Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau and starring John Goodman, which debuted last year and quickly became the most watched show on Amazon since its release. Alpha House is now in production for its second season, and Amazon recently greenlighted six new shows, including The After, Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle, and Transparent, which will be available starting later this year.
The Largest Selection of Videos for Rent or Purchase
Rent or purchase over 200,000 movies and TV episodes from Amazon Instant Video, which has the world’s largest selection of videos to rent or buy, including new releases and blockbusters. Amazon is the only nationwide video service that offers rental and purchase, as well as a subscription streaming service, so you can find everything you want in one place—catch up on past seasons of popular TV shows with Prime Instant Video before purchasing the most recent episode of the show as it’s released.
Find the Lowest Price—Even if it’s Not from Amazon
Just like on Amazon.com, Fire TV integrates viewing options on a single page so you can always choose the lowest price. This is available starting with Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and Prime Instant Video, and will expand to other content providers so you’ll see all of your options in one place.
You shouldn’t have to wait 10 seconds for a video to buffer after you press “Play”—it should start immediately. Based on your Watchlist and recommendations, the new ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) feature predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for playback before you even hit play. This feature is smart—it is personalized based on your viewing habits and adapts as those habits change. The caching predictions get better over time, so ASAP will continuously improve as you use Fire TV.
Fling TV Shows and Movies with Second Screen
Fling Amazon TV shows and movies from your phone or tablet to your Fire TV using Second Screen. This turns your TV into the primary screen and frees up your phone or tablet to provide playback controls, a customized display for X-Ray, or simply a place to email, browse the web, and more, while you watch a movie. Second Screen is available on Kindle Fire HDX and will be available later this year from your iPhone or iPad. You can also wirelessly mirror your tablet display to your Fire TV with Kindle Fire, as well as other Miracast-enabled phones or tablets starting later this year. Fire TV supports standards like DIAL, so app developers can enable multi-screen experiences based on open technologies.
X-Ray for Movies and TV Shows, Powered by IMDb
Using Second Screen on your Fire HDX and later this year on your iPhone or iPad, you can see X-Ray information as your movie or TV show plays on Fire TV. With X-Ray you can see information about cast and crew, the names of songs as they play, as well as a list of all music in the movie or TV show, trivia items in context with the action on the screen, and character backstories so you can easily remind yourself of the character’s history. X-Ray is exclusive to Amazon and is powered by IMDb.
Amazon FreeTime—Revolutionary Parental Controls
Now you don’t have to worry about what your kids are watching on the TV—with FreeTime, a parent creates profiles for each child and selects the content they can see. Parents can create time limits based on type of content or time of day. When in FreeTime, the background color and fonts change to a kid-friendly design. Kids only see titles that have been selected by their parents for them, and those who can’t yet read can navigate visually to content based on favorite characters or topics—for example “Dora the Explorer,” “Princesses,” or “Thomas and Friends.” Parents who have already set up profiles and approved content on Kindle Fire tablets will find the settings are automatically synchronized on Fire TV, making it simple and seamless to get started.
Customers who subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited—Amazon’s all-you-can-eat content subscription designed just for kids ages 3 to 8—will get unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows. FreeTime Unlimited is available for Prime members to enjoy for a monthly price of $2.99 per child or $6.99 per family. Customers who are not yet Prime members can subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited for a monthly price of $4.99 per child or$9.99 per family. Amazon FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited will be available on Fire TV starting next month.
Your Photos on the Big Screen
Fire TV makes it easy to view your photos and personal videos on your TV. You can set up and play slide shows, find specific photos, and choose your favorite album for the screen-saver on Fire TV. Photos or videos you take on your phone or tablet can be automatically uploaded to Amazon Cloud Drive, so they appear on your Fire TV within seconds.
Music in Your Living Room
Music from Pandora, Amazon MP3, iHeartRadio, and More
With Fire TV, you can listen to music from popular streaming services like Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn, and watch music videos from VEVO. Starting next month, you can also listen to your full collection of music through Amazon Cloud Player. Simply upload your music or purchase from Amazon and it will be stored automatically in your Cloud Player and available on Fire TV as well as on your phone or tablet.
X-Ray for Music
Lyrics display and scroll line-by-line automatically as the song plays, so you can follow along with songs. X-Ray for Music will be available starting next month.
Bonus—Great Games at Low Prices
Games from Top Developers
Amazon worked with game developers like EA, Disney, Gameloft, Ubisoft, Telltale, Mojang, 2K, and Sega to bring their games to Fire TV. Games available starting today include customer favorites like Minecraft, Monsters University, The Game of Life, The Walking Dead, NBA2K14, Asphalt 8, Riptide GP2, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and more. Over 100 games are available starting today and optimized for Fire TV, with thousands of additional games coming next month with the Fire TV app, which brings controls for touch-enabled games. These are great games for such a small box and at such surprisingly low prices—the average price of paid games is $1.85.
Fire TV also comes with access to Sev Zero, a new game built exclusively for Fire TV by Amazon Game Studios. Sev Zero is $6.99 and is available for free when you purchase the Fire game controller. Learn more: www.amazon.com/pr/SevZero.
Fire TV runs the latest version of Fire OS “Mojito,” which is based on Android, so it’s simple for developers to port their services and games over to Fire TV.
Choose How to Play—Remote, Game Controller, or App
In addition to using the Fire TV remote and the Fire TV app available starting next month, you can also choose the Amazon Fire game controller, which enables more high-intensity and complex gaming with dual analog sticks and a complete assortment of controls. Simple and comfortable to use for hours, the Fire game controller pairs with Fire TV via Bluetooth. The Fire game controller also intelligently manages power by automatically going to sleep when not in use, and waking at a touch of a button, so you get up to 55 hours of gaming on a pair of AA batteries. You can pair multiple game controllers with a Fire TV so the whole family can play together in the same room. The integrated GameCircle button gives you instant access to leaderboards, achievements and friends with a simple touch of a button from any GameCircle enabled game. The Fire game controller can also be used as a remote, with fast forward, rewind, play and pause, so you can control all your movies and music on Fire TV. The Fire game controller is available today for $39.99, and comes with a free copy of Sev Zero and 1,000 Amazon Coins (a $10 value) for purchasing games.
The Features You Expect from Amazon
Fire TV is not a gadget—it’s a seamlessly integrated service that brings together the features customers expect from Amazon, including:
- Whispersync—Amazon’s Whispersync technology saves and synchronizes your video and music library across all of your devices. Start watching a movie on your Kindle Fire or iPhone, and when you get home, pick up where you left off on your Fire TV. For games that support Whispersync, your place in the game will also sync across devices so you can always pick up where you left off.
- Watch on over 300 devices—When you buy a movie or TV show on Amazon, you can watch it on over 300 devices.
- Worry-Free Archive—Automatically backs up your Amazon digital content in the cloud so you never need to worry about losing your collection.
- Top-Rated, World-Class Customer Service—When a customer shops on Amazon, buys a Fire TV, or buys digital content from Amazon, they know that they are also getting Amazon’s world class customer service. Customers with a Kindle Fire HDX can also use the Mayday button to receive free, live, on-device tech support.
- Free Month of Amazon Prime—Amazon continues to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to bring Prime members new movies, TV shows, and books to enjoy at no additional cost. Prime members enjoy unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video. Eligible customers get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime when they purchase Fire TV.
Pricing & Availability
Fire TV is available starting today for just $99—order at www.amazon.com/FireTV.
Eligible customers get a free 30-day trial of Netflix and Amazon Prime when they purchase Fire TV.
Images of Fire TV are available at www.amazon.com/pr/devicesandcontent.
Snapdragon 600 processor specs [Qualcomm product page, March 25, 2014]
28nm LP quad core Krait 300 CPU at up to 1.9GHz per core
LP-DDR3 memory for high performance and low latency
Speed enhanced Adreno 320 GPU delivers over 300% increase in graphics processing performance1
Support for advanced graphic and compute APIs, including OpenGL ES 3.0, DirectX, OpenCL, Renderscript Compute and FlexRender™2
Energy efficient LP process and dynamic GPU clock and voltage scaling
Asynchronous Multi-Processing (aSMP) dynamic CPU power control for power-optimized performance
Qualcomm Quick Charge 1.0 integrated for up to 40% faster battery charging
Hexagon DSP enables ultra-low power operation for a variety of applications like music playback, enhanced audio effects, computer vision processing and still and video image enhancements
BT4.0 + Integrated digital core
Enjoy your photos, videos and games on large, high-resolution display devices (up to 2048×1536) and even on 1080p external displays
802.11ac3 Wi-Fi for peak Wi-Fi performance + Integrated digital core3
Publicly demonstrated to 280 Mbps UDP
IZAT™ location technology features GNSS for accurate auto and pedestrian navigation and Indoor Location capabilities for advanced location-based services
Capture and playback video at 1080p HD
HD multichannel sound with DTS-HD and Dolby Digital Plus
Up to 21 Megapixel, stereoscopic 3D
Take high-resolution, 3D photos with 21 Megapixel stereoscopic camera support
1 Compared to its predecessor, Adreno 305
2 FlexRender is designed to help the Adreno GPU boost speed and save power by dynamically switching between drawing pixels in direct or deferred rendering mode
3 Available only in select processors
Snapdragon 600 processors include the following part numbers: 8064T, 8064M
It is a further proof point that in 2014: Jack Ma (Alibaba) going against Jeff Bezos (Amazon) et al. [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 8, 2014]. It is also a critical investment as Alibaba needs to have a market leading messaging and social networking app of its own to compete with the Facebook+WhatsApp combo. The aim of Tango after the huge $215M investment from Alibaba (which is giving them 21.5% majority stake) is no less than:
… to build the WeChat of the Western world. We have all the WeChat features but each one of them is Westernized.
as was declared by Uri Raz, co-founder and CEO of Tango, in an interview to the Wall Sreet Journal. Quite an undertaking considering WhatsApp’s MAU (Monthly Active Users) of 450M and WeChat’s MAU of 355M versus that of the 70M+ MAU for Tango. Considering the details behind this announcement it is—nevertheless—quite feasible:
Tango Announcement [TangoME YouTube channel, March 19, 2014]
From TANGO AT-A-GLANCE [company fact sheet, March 19, 2014]
Total funding to date: $367M
- Series A – $5M (June 2010). Investors:
Long Sea Limited
- Series B – $42M (June 2011). Investors: 4
SPA Special Investment Fund
- Series C – $40M (March 2012). Investors:
Long Sea Limited
- Series D – $280M (March 2014). Investors:
Alibaba [$215M from Alibaba according to Wall Street Journal, which is giving a 21.5% majority stake as the company was valued at the time of Series D founding at $1B]
Tango’s Latest News: A Vision of The Future and a $280M Funding Round [by Uri and Eric in Tango Me Blog, March 19, 2014], note that my inserts below are from TANGO AT-A-GLANCE [company fact sheet, March 19, 2014] and the TangoME YouTube channel
We launched Tango in September 2009 out of the personal need to stay connected to our own families. It helped tremendously that both of us came from deep video technology backgrounds and had strong entrepreneurial spirits. But it was the emotional connection with family living in other parts of the world that inspired our mission here at Tango. Back then we felt that free online communication through texts, voice and video calls would remove barriers and change the world. The world agreed: we signed up our first million members in the first 10 days after launch.
Since then, we have been on quite a journey. The sheer power of free communication has changed the way we connect with others. Today, the amount of texting from over-the-top messaging apps surpasses carrier SMS. We’re proud that Tango has become a part of this industry disruption and even more excited that Tango has become a preferred place for our members to communicate and share with friends and family.
According to China’s Alibaba Invests $215 Million in Startup Tango [The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2014]
Last summer, Alibaba began blocking merchants on Taobao and Tmall from using WeChat to send promotional messages to shoppers. Tencent, meanwhile, added mobile payments last year and has been offering more services and shopping options on WeChat.
There are no immediate plans to connect the Tango app with the company’s various e-commerce services, though that could come over time, said a person familiar with the plans. Tango will operate separately from Laiwang.
Tango also expands Alibaba’s portfolio of fast-growing U.S. startups as the Chinese company tries to gain a foothold here. It led investments last year in app search-engine Quixey Inc. and two-day shipping provider ShopRunner Inc.
Alibaba’s cash will help Tango, based in Mountain View, Calif., to double its workforce to more than 300 this year and open up its service to more outside developers, Chief Executive Uri Raz said.
Mr. Raz said he began adding other services, such as games and photo sharing, after seeing the success of Asian texting apps such as WeChat, Kakao and Line. “We were looking at what happened in Japan and China,” Mr. Raz said. “It was the first time since 1999 that I saw the speed of innovation happening faster over there than here.”
From TANGO AT-A-GLANCE [company fact sheet, March 19, 2014]
What is Tango
Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif.
Tango is consistently in the top 25 on Google Play and top 100 in the iTunes App Store.
Tango is available in 14 languages and has subscribers in more than 224 countries with nearly one third of its members in the U.S.
Year founded: 2009
Number of users: 200M+ (if Tango were a country it would be the 5th largest in the world)
Daily user base growth: 325K (average)
Monthly active users [MAU]: 70M+
[note that WhatsApp bought by Facebook has MAU of 450M and Alibaba’s major competitor Tencent’s WeChat MAU of 355M]
Global breakdown based on DAU
27% U.S. (North America 31%)
29% Middle East
Platform user base demographics:
Over half between the ages 25-44
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, PC
Coverage: 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi
Number of iPhone/iPad users: 40% (whole user base)
Number of Android users: 60% (whole user base)
App store ranking:
4.3 stars on Google Play
4.5 stars on iTunes
Number of patents: 30 (4 approved – 26 pending)
Appy Awards: Best Communication App 2013
About.com: Reader’s Choice 2013
Webby nomination 2013
Verizon’s Must Have Apps list 2013
Number of employees: 160
Total funding to date: $367M
Partners: 40+ game partners, 10+ Direct advertising partners, and Spotify on Music Messaging
While we’ve made progress on our mission to enable people to communicate, share and feel more connected, we are just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible. The opportunity for Tango goes well beyond just providing a messaging app for free communications. We see an even bigger opportunity – one where people can have access to free communication, social networking features and enjoyable content – all within a single platform.
Over the past eight months, Tango has evolved.
- We’ve introduced a content platform that is now home to more than 30 games.
My inserts here:
– Connect & Play with Tango [TangoME YouTube channel, June 18, 2013]
– Games developed for Tango: 35+ games live
– Game developers for Tango: 50+ developers signed
- We’ve introduced new social networking features that allow members to share updates or photos and to find new friends.
My insert here:
– Find Friends Nearby with Tango [TangoME YouTube channel, July 18, 2013]
- And we’ve introduced social music sharing through integration with Spotify, which means members can now send each other songs.
My inserts here:
– Tango powered by Spotify video [TangoME YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2013]
– Tango music video featuring recording artist Riz – the first of its kind to be recorded using Google Glass [RizVEVO YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2013]
– Total Music Played: hundreds of millions
According to China’s Alibaba Invests $215 Million in Startup Tango [The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2014]
Tango joined with outside developers, such as game maker Gameloft Inc. and music-streaming service Spotify AB, to offer users a range of virtual activities inside the app. For example, Tango users can share 30-second clips of their favorite songs from Spotify or compete with their friends for the high score in the Gameloft title “Candy Block Breaker.” The company shares the revenue from purchases made inside the apps with the developers.
By the end of this year, Tango plans to open its software code to allow any outside developer to build games and other services for its users, Mr. Raz said.
The startup is also bolstering its revenue through mobile advertising. Last December, it began working with Twitter Inc.’s MoPub unit to sell ads within users’ news feeds and message inboxes, promoting apps made by Zynga Inc. and others.
Quite honestly, the results have blown us away. We’re excited by the 2x increase in daily engagement since last July. And we love it that our members are huge fans of music and love to send hundreds of millions of songs to their friends through Tango. These changes are reflected in huge growth in registered users: over the last year we’ve doubled to more than 200 million.
The way we see it, this is just the beginning for Tango. We believe that messaging apps will fundamentally change the way content and services are distributed. We are very excited to continue to build upon our foundation of free communications, while extending into new growth areas in social networking and content. We know that we can’t do it on our own, and for that reason, we couldn’t be more excited to announce our newest investor, Alibaba Group.
According to China’s Alibaba Invests $215 Million in Startup Tango [The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2014]
While the company has an office in Beijing and has seen rising usage in Thailand and Hong Kong, Asia isn’t currently a main area of focus for the company, Mr. Raz said.
Mr. Setton says the alliance with Alibaba will give Tango market insights that will help it beat rivals to new trends.
Rather than take on WeChat in China, Mr. Raz said he’s more focused on perfecting the model for U.S. users.
“We want to build the WeChat of the Western world,” Mr. Raz said. “We have all the WeChat features but each one of them is Westernized.”
Together with some of our prior investors, Alibaba has lead a $280 million Series D funding round. [$215M from Alibaba according to Wall Street Journal, which is giving a 21.5% majority stake as the company was valued at the time of Series D founding at $1B.] As part of this financing, Michael Zeisser from Alibaba will join our Board of Directors. We welcome Alibaba’s investment in Tango. We know that we will be able to benefit from Alibaba’s expertise.
More on Tango as it is:
Tango – Connect, Get Social, Have Fun! [TangoME YouTube channel, March 12, 2014]
Let’s Play – Tango [TangoME YouTube channel, Feb 21, 2014]
Tango Free Voice, Video, and Text [TangoME YouTube channel, Sept 10, 2012]
and its first year anniversary was proudly celebrated with the following achievements: Tango Turns One! [TangoME YouTube channel, Sept 30, 2011]
Tango’s market position as per Since Facebook Owns WhatsApp, Here Are 5 Alternative Messaging Services [ReadWrite, Feb 25, 2014]
You shouldn’t feel forced to relinquish your messaging data to Facebook.
Facebook stunned the tech world last week when it scooped up the messaging application WhatsApp for $19 billion.
The deal was largely heralded as a win for both sides: Facebook gained a much-needed service it hasn’t yet delivered on, and the small startup cashed in big time. But the downside of the acquisition fell heavily on the shoulders of users—those 450 million people [MAU – monthly active users] whose private data is now in the hands of Facebook.
If you’re a WhatsApp user who wants to break up with Facebook, or someone looking for a great new messaging application, we’ve put together a list of mobile messaging apps you should try.
Almost five million people signed up for Telegram after Facebook bought WhatsApp. As a messaging service, it is sleek and easy to use.
Telegram, which is built by a Berlin-based nonprofit, is cloud-based and heavily encrypted so users can use several devices to access their messages and documents including both mobile and desktop. The company also claims Telegram is a free service that will remain so in the future, meaning no advertisements or subscription fees will ever be levied on customers.
Snapchat’s sophisticated competitor Wickr brings government-strength security and encryption to your messages. Wickr lets you send self-destructing messages, documents, photos, videos and voice calls that disappear after a select amount of time.
Wickr is entirely anonymous, as the application doesn’t ask for any of your personal information. Wickr is also exceeds top secret and HIPAA compliance, so people in medical, law enforcement, and journalism fields can feel confident using Wickr for secure messaging knowing it can’t be traced or reproduced.
Line is one of the most popular messaging services on the market for free voice and video calling.
The app is massively popular internationally, especially in Asia, and it finally entered the U.S. market earlier this year. Line is more than just a simple messaging application—it has branched out to offer in-app games and a variety of standalone apps like Line Camera and Line Tools. While the app is free, additional services like stickers and games provide revenue for the company. In the first quarter of 2013, Line made $17 million off sticker sales alone.
Kik is the world’s first messaging application with a built-in browser. The application boasts over 100 million users, a majority coming from North America and Western Europe.
Kik has over 30 HTML5 experiences built into the application for sharing pictures, videos and gaming, according to the company, and recently launched the in-app browser. Kik has also created open source tools to help developers build and optimize their websites for mobile.
Tango, like Line, offers an all-inclusive social app with games, music, video, and voice and text messaging. The San Francisco-based company says the app has
150million [200 million as of March 19, 2014] users.
Because of the additional features that extend beyond voice calling and messaging, users of more traditional messaging services like WhatsApp may find the interface a bit confusing, but users can personalize their profiles to find and make friends or discover people you may know nearby.
Breaking Up Is Hard
It’s inconvenient to switch to an entirely new messaging service, especially if all your friends are dedicated to one app. But you shouldn’t feel forced to turn over your data to Facebook either. All these applications provide messaging services that rival WhatsApp, without the commitment to Facebook services, meaning you’re not turning over your mobile phone book and payment information to the social network in exchange for an efficient messaging service.
Amazon may hike Prime cost as earnings disappoint and further challenges lay ahead of the company for which it needs to adjust its business model and expand its operations
… first time after 9 years
The main attraction of Prime is that the shipping service is bundled with a mature streaming video service for the price of Netflix’ service only:
Amazon or Netflix [Brent Byron YouTube channel, Dec 5, 2012]
- Is the Amazon Prime service worth it? [Clark Howard: Save More, Spend Less YouTube channel, Jan 17, 2014]
- Amazon’s miss on holiday quarter [CNBC, Jan 30, 2014]
Amazon.com posted quarterly results Thursday that fell short of expectations and handed in a weak revenue outlook.
Additionally, Amazon said during its conference call it may increase the cost of its popular Amazon Prime subscription by $20 to $40 due to higher fuel and other shipping costs.
There were no immediate details on when or how Amazon would make the decision during the call. The company did not disclose the exact number of Prime customers.
“We have added massive selection and digital content to the service—Kindle owners lending library, Prime instant video,” according to CFO Thomas Szkutak during the call. “It’s great value for customers. We see customers love it and we will continue to make that better over time.”
In December, Amazon said that its Prime service had a “record-setting holiday season.” According to the company, more than 1 million people signed up in the third week of December alone. Prime members get free two-day shipping on eligible items, free streaming of 150,000-plus movies and TV episodes, and free e-book borrowing from a library of more than 475,000 titles.
The world’s largest Internet retailer posted earnings of 51 cents a share on sales of $25.59 billion, versus expectations for 66 cents a share on sales of $26.06 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.
In addition, the company posted current-quarter sales guidance of between $18.2 billion and $19.9 billion, missing expectations for $19.67 billion.
The company said international sales gained just 13 percent, lower than Wall Street forecasts for around 14 percent to 15 percent.
Shares initially shed nearly 10 percent in extended-hours trading before gradually recovering from lows. The stock rallied nearly 5 percent during the regular session Thursday. (Click here to get the latest quotes.)
The stock has had a stellar run since the lows of 2009, with shares surging close to the $400 mark by the end of 2013.
“It’s a good time to be an Amazon customer. You can now read your Kindle gate-to-gate, get instant on-device tech support via our revolutionary Mayday button, and have packages delivered to your door even on Sundays,” said CEO Jeff Bezos in the company’s press release. “In just the last weeks, Forrester, YouGov, and ForeSee have all ranked Amazon #1—and we believe we’re just scratching the surface of what world-class customer service can be.”
Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon plans to move into the mobile payments business, offering brick-and-mortar retailers a checkout system that uses Kindle tables as soon as this summer, citing sources.
Recently, Amazon also expanded its grocery delivery service to two new U.S. cities, introduced Sunday package delivery with the Postal Service and reached agreements to build warehouses in several states.
From Amazon.com’s Management Discusses Q4 2013 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Jan 30, 2014]
Tom Szkutak – Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President:
For Q1 2014, we expect net sales of between $18.2 billion and $19.9 billion or growth of between 13% and 24%. This guidance anticipates approximately 30 basis points of unfavorable impact from foreign exchange rates.
GAAP operating income, or loss to be between a $200 million loss and $200 million in income, compared to $181 million in income in the first quarter 2013. This includes approximately $350 million for stock-based compensation and amortization of intangible assets.
We anticipate consolidated segment operating income, which excludes stock-based compensation and other operating expense to be between a $150 million loss and $850 million, compared with $441 million in the first quarter of 2013. We launched Prime in the U.S. nine years ago with free, unlimited two-day shipping on one main items in an annual membership priced at $79. Today Prime Selection is growing to over 19 million items.
Even as fuel and transportation cost have increased, the $79 price has remained the same. We know the customers love Prime as the usage of the shipping benefit has increased dramatically since launch. On a per customer basis, Prime members are ordering more items across more categories with free two-day shipping than ever before.
With the increased cost of fuel, transportation as well as the increased usage among Prime members were considering increasing the price of Prime between $20 to $40 in the U.S.
In terms of details of how we would roll out the Prime price increase that we are considering, you have to wait on that, but certainly as I mentioned, it’s something that we haven’t had any increase in the nine years. Customers certainly love Prime.
The available units for shipment have grown dramatically from one million to over 19 million over the last nine years. We haven’t had any price increase. Customer usage, on a per customer basis, has gone up pretty dramatically, given the selection and the convenience of the service. So that’s why we are considering, of course during this nine year period, shipping cost have gone up a lot, fuel cost have gone up a lot. So that’s certainly the basis for us taking a look at it but in terms of the details, we will be back when we make those decisions back to customers.
We have added a lot of new services to Prime beyond this shipping benefits you mentioned it owners and then library. Certainly video, Prime Instant Video we are investing very heavily, and so those are certainly costly. Those aren’t the reasons for the price increases that were contemplating. That decision again is just based on – we have not done our price increase nine years. Shipping costs have gone up if you look back very considerably over the nine-year period.
Customers like the service, they are using it a lot more and we have a lot more selection. They are using it lot more and so that’s the reason why we are looking at the increase.
In terms of the international growth, the growth was solid, with revenue [exchange] of 15%. The unit growth was considerably faster than that, primarily because third-party growth we saw very strong and certainly FBA [Fulfillment by Amazon – Build your Business with Amazon Services] is a component of that and when you think about the capacity that we built it for not only for retail, but also for our third parties and we are able to offer your our FBA items through Prime as well, so we are very happy with the capacity that we have built across the world, including our international operations and that’s reflect in the results that you are seeing.
Yes, we like it the way it is. Yes. But again, if you look back at what we have done, you can’t expect that we might do going forward, but certainly we have had, in the U.S., Prime in place for nine years. We have added a massive selection during that time period. We have also added, this is on the physical side and we have also added digital content as well to the service in the U.S. with Kindle Owners’ Lending Library as well as Prime Instant Video and so it’s a great value for customers. We see that customers love it and we are going to continue to try and make that even better for customers over time.
We are seeing customers like the digital content. We are seeing great engagement, we are not breaking out in terms of the form, but again we are seeing great engagement. We do track very closely the Prime customers to come from free trials for examples.
They come through the pipeline for digital content from free trial standpoint, we track those conversions and we see that’s growing very nicely. We do look at customers that use our Prime Instant Video, what are their shopping patterns look like both side of digital content.
Beyond the free content we have on there, do they buy more digital content and certainly we are seeing nice growth in digital content because of that, because they do. They also do a lot of shopping physical categories as well, so those things we are tracking very closely and it’s a great pipeline for us as customers look at the total value proposition for Prime, including digital content.
From: Amazon.com Announces Fourth Quarter Sales up 20% to $25.59 Billion [press release, Jan 30, 2013]
- Amazon announced a record-setting holiday season for Amazon Prime, the annual membership program with tens of millions of members worldwide. Amazon is working hard to increase capacity for the Prime program. In December, Prime was so popular that Amazon limited new Prime membership signups during peak periods.
- Prime Instant Video selection increased from 33,000 to more than 40,000 movies and TV episodes in 2013.
- Selection in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library in 2013 grew from 250,000 books to more than 475,000 books-books that Kindle owners with a Prime membership can borrow for free with no due dates.
- Amazon Studios debuted new original series Alpha House and Betas. The first three episodes are available for all customers to enjoy, with the remaining episodes available exclusively on Prime Instant Video.
- Amazon Prime Instant Video will be the exclusive premium subscription home for Extant [see: Amazon and CBS Corporation Announce Exclusive Content Licensing Agreement for New CBS Series Extant—Produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Starring Halle Berry [Jan 8, 2014]], a serialized drama starring Halle Berry and produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television. The drama will premiere on the CBS Television Network in June with unlimited streaming of all the series’ episodes available four days after their initial broadcast on CBS.
… The new Kindle Fire HDX features a stunning exclusive 7” or 8.9” HDX display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, 2x more memory, and 11 hours of battery life, as well as exclusive new features of Fire OS 3.0 including X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, Prime Instant Video downloads, and the revolutionary new Mayday button. The all-new Kindle Fire HD includes an HD display, high-performance processor and dual speakers at a breakthrough price. …
Related (only for the last 365 days):
More than a billion units worldwide were ordered from Marketplace Sellers, including local businesses of all sizes, on Amazon during 2013
The number of active Marketplace Sellers using the Fulfillment byAmazon service grew more than 65 percent year-over-year worldwide
Amazon today announced a record-setting year for Marketplace Sellers with businesses of all sizes selling on Amazon. In 2013, Marketplace Sellers on Amazon sold more than a billion units worldwide, cumulatively worth tens of billions of dollars. Marketplace Sellers around the world also continued rapid adoption of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), a service that Marketplace Sellers can choose to have Amazon ship their products directly to customers and offer Amazon Prime benefits, FREE Shipping, simple exporting to customers around the world, easy returns for orders placed on Amazon and great customer service. The number of active Marketplace Sellers using the FBA service grew more than 65 percent year-over-year worldwide.
The Amazon Marketplace, which consists of more than 2 million Marketplace Sellers of all sizes worldwide, experienced record growth during the busy holiday selling season. On Cyber Monday, more than 13 million units were ordered worldwide from Marketplace Sellers on Amazon, growing the total units ordered by over 50 percent year-over-year.
“It has been an incredible year for Marketplace Sellers including popular brands and businesses of all sizes selling on Amazon. Our customers have told us they appreciate the hundreds of millions of products listed by Marketplace Sellers that range from all types of apparel to a vast selection of electronics items,” said Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace. “Our goal every day is to make selling onAmazon as easy as possible. Fulfillment by Amazon is a wonderful service as it gives all Marketplace Sellers the option of warehousing their inventory in our fulfillment center network. It has been a game changer for sellers because their items become eligible for Prime benefits, which drives their sales and benefits consumers with additional Prime selection.”
“We experienced explosive sales growth for items listed on Amazon, 10x sales increases in some cases, when offering attractive holiday deals. For many items, all available inventory was sold out within an hour of the deal posting! We are already making selling on Amazon a core component of our marketing and sales planning for holiday 2014 and beyond,” said Mike Mitchell, COO for MMP Living, a home goods and toy retailer based in Colorado. “By leveraging Amazon’s FBA program we were able to focus on sourcing and offering products of the highest quality, knowing that Amazon’s world-class infrastructure will handle getting our products out to customers quickly. With the focus always on the customer coupled with the fastPrime Shipping options, Amazon is second to none.”
- Amazon and CBS Corporation Announce Exclusive Content Licensing Agreement for New CBS Series Extant—Produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Starring Halle Berry [press release, Jan 8, 2014]
Prime Instant Video to be the exclusive subscription streaming home for Veronica Mars TV show in deal with Warner Bros. domestic Television Distribution
With Prime Instant Video fans can catch-up on all three seasons of the Veronica Mars series before the movie debut on March 14
- Amazon and A24 Announce Exclusive Content Agreement Making Prime Instant Video the Only Premium Subscription Service to Offer Films from A24 [press release, Nov 21, 2013]
Exclusive film distribution deal brings A24 movies such as Spring Breakers and The Bling Ring to Prime Instant Video
- Amazon and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Announce Expanded Content Licensing Agreement for Prime Instant Video [press release, Oct 22, 2013]
Deal includes Vikings, the #1 new cable series of the year in the U.S. along with popular MGM films for Prime members to stream instantly
- CBS’s Under the Dome Now Available for Exclusive Online Subscription Streaming on Prime Instant Video [press release, June 28, 2013]
Amazon Prime members can now watch Under the Dome episodes on an unlimited basis just four days after their initial broadcast
Under the Dome is also available for purchase and download exclusively on Amazon Instant Video
- Amazon Expands Agreement with PBS to Bring Even More Popular TV Shows to Prime Instant Video [press release, June 26, 2013]
Prime members now have access to even more episodes of NOVA,Masterpiece, and documentaries from Ken Burns along with PBS KIDS programs such as Caillou, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood andWild Kratts
PBS KIDS programming available to customers with Kindle FreeTime Unlimited
- Amazon and Viacom Announce Multi-Year Video Licensing Agreement; Adds a Selection of TV Shows Available Exclusively on Prime Instant Video [press release, June 4, 2013]
Prime Instant Video is adding thousands of episodes fromNickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV and COMEDY CENTRAL—including a collection of subscription TV shows customers won’t find anywhere else—with favorite kids shows like Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!,Blue’s Clues and The Backyardigans, all available to Kindle Fire customers with FreeTime Unlimited
Multi-year deal will bring Amazon customers the TV shows and movies they want to watch, when they want to watch them, and on any device they want to watch them on—including Kindle Fire, iPad, iPhone, Roku and more
- Prime Instant Video Adds Exclusive Subscription Streaming Access to Popular NBCUniversal Shows Covert Affairs, Defiance, Grimm, Hannibal and Suits [press release, May 16, 2013]
Also as a part of the agreement with NBCUniversal, popular children’s shows including Curious George and Land Before Time will be available to customers with Kindle FreeTime Unlimited
- Scripps Networks Interactive’s Popular Lifestyle Shows from HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel Coming to Prime Instant Video and Amazon Instant Video [press release, Feb 28, 2013]
Prime Instant Video is now home to previous seasons of popular shows like Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Cupcake Wars, House Hunters, Iron Chef America, Chopped, and Throwdown With Bobby Flay
This is the first online-only subscription distribution deal for Scripps Networks Interactive
- Amazon’s Prime Instant Video Named the Exclusive Online Subscription Home of FX Series Justified [press release, Feb 26, 2013]
Fan-favorite series The Shield will also join the Prime Instant Video catalog for Amazon Prime members to instantly stream at no additional cost
Amazon recently announced that PBS favorite series Downton Abbeyand the anticipated summer series Under the Dome from CBS will soon be available exclusively on Prime Instant Video
- Amazon and CBS Announce Expanded Content Licensing Agreement [press release, Feb 13, 2013]
Amazon Prime members now have more of their favorite CBS series to choose from for instant streaming, at no additional cost on hundreds of devices
New programming now available to Amazon Prime members includes America’s Next Top Model, Everybody Loves Raymond, Undercover Boss, United States of Tara and more
- Amazon and CBS Corporation Announce Content Licensing Agreement for Prime Instant Video To Be Exclusive Online Subscription Home for CBS’s Under the Dome [press release, Feb 11, 2013]
New TV series based on Stephen King novel and produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television to premiere on CBS Television Network in June
Amazon Prime members will have unlimited access to series episodes just four days after broadcast and Under the Dome will also be available for purchase and download exclusively on Amazon Instant Video
- Prime Instant Video to be the Exclusive Subscription Streaming Home for Carnival/Masterpiece Co-Production “Downton Abbey” on PBS [press release, Feb 1, 2013]
Subscription streaming of “Downton Abbey” — the most watched TV series of all time on Prime Instant Video — to become exclusive toAmazon