The music industry is pinning great hope on subscription music services such as Spotify, a segment that's growing faster than any other part of recorded music industry. And now comes news that Amazon is looking to jump into the fray.
The Verge, citing multiple sources, reports that Amazon is holding informal talks with the music industry about launching an on-demand service similar to Spotify, which is the largest such service with 24 million active users and 6 million paid subscribers.
This development comes as Google is trying to launch a pair of subscription music services this summer, one tied … Read more
eBay is eliminating listing fees and simplifying rates in hopes of bringing Amazon sellers to its doors.
In addition to a new fee rate system, eBay will let sellers list many items for free, the company announced today. eBay said the changes, which begin rolling out in April, are the online marketplace's first major update in pricing in several years.
"The update is part of eBay's ongoing commitment to be the most competitively priced commerce platform in the U.S. today, offering sellers of all sizes a great deal and being a partner of choice for merchants, … Read more
Here's a fun one: The folks over at Federal Computer Week got their hands on a hot rumor about Amazon supposedly building a cloud service for the spooks over at the Central Intelligence Agency, a project estimated to be "worth up to $600 million over 10 years."
Amazon Web Services will help the intelligence agency build a private cloud infrastructure that helps the agency keep up with emerging technologies like big data in a cost-effective manner not possible under the CIA's previous cloud efforts, sources told FCW.
Given how Amazon usually considers everything -- including the … Read more
Continuing its push into creating original content, Amazon has launched a literary fiction imprint dubbed Little A.
The imprint falls under the ambitious publishing unit at the retail giant, Amazon Publishing, led by industry veteran Larry Kirshbaum. Little A will publish novels, memoirs, and story collections. The books distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will be published under its New Harvest imprint with both Little A and New Harvest logos.
Little A's first title is "The Blue Book," a novel by Scottish author A.L. Kennedy, that debuted this week. Next week, Jake Arnott's "The House … Read more
In the U.S., the Wi-Fi version now starts at $269 and the 4G device starts at $399. Customers in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan can purchase the 8.9-inch screen Kindle tablet for the original cost: $299 for the Wi-Fi version and $499 for the 4G version.
Amazon Kindle Vice President Dave Limp said in a press release that the company "is thrilled with customer … Read more
Membership in Amazon Prime, the subscription service that offers rapid shipping as well as streaming movies, now tops 10 million, according to a new report from Morningstar.
Amazon doesn't disclose subscription numbers for the service. But Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy arrived at the number using a survey of Amazon shoppers conducted by market-research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners last November. Hottovy, whose report was first covered by Business Intelligence, also wrote that Amazon Prime now accounts for about a third of Amazon's operating income.
Amazon's effort to control dozens of new generic top-level Internet domain names is drawing fire from a pair of publishing industry groups.
The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers oppose the Internet retail giant's plan to control so-called generic top-level domains (gTLD) that end in suffixes .book, .author, and .read, arguing that such influence would be anti-competitive.
"Placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anticompetitive, allowing already dominant, well-capitalized companies to expand and entrench their market power," Authors Guild President Scott Turow wrote to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, … Read more
The company's movie and series production arm, Amazon Studios, today said the new show, called "Sara Solves It" will be co-developed by WGBH and Out of the Blue Enterprises. It's created by Emmy Award winner Carol Greenwald, who has worked on "Curious George" and "Arthur," and Emmy nominee Angela Santomero of "Blue Clues" and other shows.
The … Read more
Amazon has a problem with pornography.
The company created technology to filter smut from its library of video and print offerings and it also pays humans to do the same thing. In spite of that, Kindle users can still download e-books with the same sort of raunchy images and titles normally seen in nudie mags sold at liquor store newsstands.
That's because these salacious e-books are self-published, spawned from sources with names like Camera Erotica Publications and ErotiPics. Some of the milder titles include "The Dirty Blonde 2," which comes with a self-prescribed adults-only warning, a weak … Read more