After evaluating more than 4,000 submissions and commissioning more than a dozen half-hour pilots, Amazon Studios is ready to roll. The "Hollywood" division of the online shopping giant is making 14 pilots available on Amazon Instant Video in the U.S, and the Amazon subscription services Lovefilm UK and Lovefilm Germany, to watch for free and rate and review them.
The pilots include shows from established talent and studios, as well as up and comers who cut their teeth online.
The lineup includes a big slate of comedies, led by "Alpha House," starring John Goodman … Read more
The rumor that Amazon has purchased the British startup behind Evi, the pseudo-Siri competitor, has again led to speculation about the fabled Amazon smartphone.
TechCrunch first reported the apparent purchase, citing its sources and recent changes reflected in some company records. It goes on to say that "smart observers might speculate that all these moves point towards Amazon developing a mobile handset/smartphone."
The evidence assembled certainly does seem to hint at some kind of relationship between Amazon and Evi Technologies, which makes the Evi app for Android and iOS. However, that apparent fact does little to bolster the case for an Amazon smartphone.… Read more
Amazon may be cooking up its own anonymous mobile payments system.
Published yesterday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Amazon patent application appropriately dubbed "Anonymous mobile payments" describes a system that would let mobile users pay for items without having to reveal their name, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal details to the seller.
The invention follows in the footsteps of other mobile payment systems. However, Amazon takes it a few steps further.
Beyond shielding the personal information of the buyer, Amazon's system would use a special code, or temporary identifier, to conduct … Read more
Amazon's Appstore is about to grow awfully big in a short amount of time.
The company today announced that developers can now submit applications to its marketplace for nearly 200 countries. The new entrants to the company's Appstore include Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Vatican City.
Before developers get too excited, it's important to note that the apps won't be available in those countries just yet. Instead, Amazon is asking that they be submitted to its marketplace in anticipation of the Appstore's launch in those countries "in the coming months."
Amazon has been slowly … Read more
In this new era of music streaming, many people seem to wonder whether song and album downloading is becoming irrelevant. Apparently, not quite yet.
Music downloading is as strong as ever, according to a new NPD study based on data from 5,400 consumer surveys. In fact, streaming only seems to bolster downloads.
Though streaming services, like Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio, have grown at an extraordinary rate, music fans still want to own albums. According to NPD, 44 million U.S. residents paid for the download of at least one song track or album last year. And this number has … Read more
Microsoft wants the world to know it is ready to go head-to-head with Amazon Web Services on both features and price.
As expected, Microsoft today announced that its Linux and Windows Server virtual machines (VMs) on Windows Azure are now generally available and ready for deployment. These are the persistent VMs that Microsoft publicly unveiled last June, and which provide users with a way to run existing Linux and Windows Server apps in the Azure cloud without having to completely rewrite them.
Amazon leaves practically no demographic or product category untouched for it shoppers. The company just launched a "50+ Active and Healthy Living Store" with hundreds of thousands of items that end up on the shopping lists of seniors.
Amazon is tapping more directly into the large addressable market for seniors. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 40 million Americans were 65 or older in 2010, and more than 80 million were 50 and older. By 2015, those aged 50 and older will represent 45 percent of the U.S. population, according to the AARP. Those … Read more
Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos today defended the company's stance on heavy investments in certain areas, saying it's focused on its customers, not its rivals, and that it believes its strategy is the best for the long term.
For years, Bezos has demonstrated a preference for plowing resources into initiatives to build market share but take years to generate profits. That seeming indifference to near-term profits worries Wall Street, with many expressing reservations over the years about the impact on margins. Amazon is believed to make little, if any, money on its gadgets, instead relying on customers to … Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--Daniel Ek was waving his arms in the air, as if molding invisible clay. He swiped his right hand karate-chop style, made a big loop, and then grabbed an imaginary dial with his left and twisted his fist.
Ek, you see, was talking about the future. In this not-so-far-off future, maybe a decade from now, we're all connected, everywhere, all the time -- perhaps via Google Glass, perhaps via sensors built into our clothes, or through other wearable computing devices. Our touch-screen life will require no touching whatsoever, as we control what we're listening to or seeing … Read more