Amazon announcement storm: precursor to hardware announcement?
Amazon has put out six press releases (well, okay…two of them were the same, just in different languages) in the last two days.
The last time that happened was in June…when the
became generally available.
I checked: there was also a flurry around the time of the announcement about new models last year in September.
Now, this pattern is different…those press releases came afterwards or were concurrent. These are (perhaps only very slightly) before.
However, I think that part of what may happen is that Amazon is arranges deals and creates features to make the release of hardware even more exciting. They want heightened interest in Amazon generally as well at that time, and goodwill.
These announcements also give you options even if you aren’t interested in buying new hardware.
The upshot here?
“Prime members can now enjoy six months of free unlimited access to The Washington Post National Digital Edition, a subscription usually retailing for $9.99 per month. After the first six months of access to world-class national and international news, Prime members can continue to enjoy unlimited digital access with a discounted monthly subscription rate of only $3.99, a savings of 60% per month.”
I did enjoy the Washington Post (owned by Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos) when we got it for free for six months on Fire tablets, which I wrote about it:
Even though I could have continued it at a very low cost, I didn’t. It was one of those things where I have enough to read without it, and it was symbolically challenging for me to pay for it at all.
I figure I’ll read it for the six months, and then cancel it again. I don’t feel like that’s cheating: I’m paying for Prime anyway, and they aren’t asking me to get it only if I think I might subscribe.
Note that this time it is for Prime members (not based on having a Fire tablet), and you can read it on many platforms…including the website.
Oh, this isn’t available for current subscribers, by the way…so I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t sign up before. ;)
Amazon started giving Prime Members free streaming access to older seasons of some HBO shows a bit more than a year ago
and now they’ve added the complete Sex and the City.
Interestingly, it is available for download for offline watching. The selection of downloadable Prime Videos has gotten much better recently: a lot more well-known titles. This is a way that Amazon differentiates itself from Netflix and Hulu, and it looks like it wants to push that.
Downloadable titles (for Prime members, at no additional cost) now include:
- Downton Abbey
- Under the Dome
- American Horror Story
- Wallace & Gromit: the Complete Collection
- Curious George
- Orphan Black
- Teen Wolf (the new MTV version)
- 24: Live Another Day
- Sons of Anarchy
- Hand of God
Note that it isn’t all seasons of those, but this is still nice!
Oh, and movies, too, including:
- Pulp Fiction
- The Bling Ring
- Kill Bill
- Spy Kids
- Life After Beth
- Good Will Hunting
- Under the Skin
- Sling Blade
- Spring Breakers
- The Neverending Story
- Ella Enchanted
This one was a general Fire TV announcement (and they might be introducing a new version of it, I suppose). That might be in part a response to the new Apple TV announcement…that sounds cool, but it’s relatively expensive. Apple TV will start at $149, as opposed to $99 for the
and $39 for the
Hey! The Fire TV is unavailable! Very good chance that means an announcement for a new gen soon…before the end of the week I would guess. I know, I know…I didn’t think that was the case with the Fire Phone when I wrote about it yesterday, but this is different…especially with the announcements of new content.
The press release includes these interesting bits:
- “Popular new titles include AT&T U-Verse, HBO NOW, Pac Man 256, Orbitz, Quiplash, Tastemade, and Tennis Channel Everywhere. FOX NOW, FXNOW, Poker Central, and Turner Classic Movies will be coming to the platform soon.”
If TCM is free (to watch the movies, not just to get the app), I’m an especially happy camper. :)
This is also useful:
“Fire TV integrated universal search from the very beginning, and customers have loved being able to easily search across multiple services, including HBO GO, Showtime, Hulu, STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and Vevo. Plus, Amazon will be adding over 10 services to universal search by the end of the year, including A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime, and PBS.”
Prime Now is this incredible, two-hour delivery service (you can pay $7.99 to get something in one hour).
They are establishing four (!) hubs for this in Southern California, and will be covering quite a few cities (“Los Angeles and Orange County including areas such as Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, Silver Lake and Irvine, to name a few…”).
Additionally, they’ll deliver from some local stores, like Sprouts. My Significant Other likes an Icelandic yogurt called Siggi’s which we can get at Sprouts…but it’s never a good shopping experience. We aren’t covered by Prime Now (yet), but getting it deliveed in two hours at no additional cost? Yes, please.
For a final press release, also available in Spanish:
we get something that has to do specifically with books. :)
Amazon has been taking submissions of unpublished books in Spanish, and they are down to five finalists. See this page for more information:
The winner will “have the opportunity” to be published in print, audio, and e-book by Amazon.
The winner will be announced October 15th.
There you go!
In the middle of writing this, I tweeted about the Fire TV unavailability…I wanted to get that out before Amazon made an announcement. ;)
What do you think? Is Amazon about to announce new hardware? What does it mean that they are taking more interest in non-English publishing? Does all of this have to do with new models, or is it just a coincidence and build up for the holiday season? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.