Amazon introduces a free lending library exclusive to Amazon Prime members. Members can choose from a select list of books to borrow for free, with no due dates (limited to one book per month). Bezos:
Prime Members now have exclusive access to a huge library of books to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates.
Amazon, through its Amazon Studios moniker, releases fourteen original pilots available for streaming on Amazon Instant Video. The pilots include a range of programming, from Betas, about a group of awkward techies trying to make it big in Silicon Valley, to Alpha House, about four Republican U.S. Senators who share a townhouse in Washington. It is the first time the online retailer has branched out into original programming, making it a competitor with Netflix (which also produces original content), HBO, and Showtime. Eight The pilots include a range of programming, from Betas, about a group of awkward techies trying to make it big in Silicon Valley, to Alpha House, about four Republican U.S. Senators who share a townhouse in Washington.of the shows are comedies, and six are geared for children. Anyone in the U.K., U.S., and Germany can watch the pilots for free, and based on user surveys Amazon will decide which shows are greenlit for a full series to be made available exclusively to Amazon Prime subscribers. Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios:
For the past year the Amazon Studios team has collaborated with some of the best actors and writers in Hollywood to produce top-quality shows. Now we’ve handed the remote to our customers to hear what they think.
Amazon Studios debuts the first season of Alpha House its first original series. The show, a comedy written by Doonesbury creator Gary Trudeau, is loosely based on a group of senators who shared a townhouse in Washington. Trudeau:
The first season is about the fight for survival among incumbent Republican senators first elected in the pre-Tea Party era. Even though they’re all solidly conservative, three of the four senators living in Alpha House are facing strong primary challenges from the right. The struggle to hold onto their core values drives both the comedy and the drama in our show.
The show stars John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy and Mark Consuelos. The first three episodes are free on Amazon Instant Video, but following its initial release each week new episodes will be added exclusively for Amazon Prime subscribers.
Amazon Studios releases Betas, its second original comedy series. The show, along with Alpha House, won out among six other competing comedy pilots vetted by Amazon customers. Betas is about a group of awkward techies who want to create a dating app so they form a start-up in San Francisco. The show stars Ed Begley Jr., Joe Dinicol, Jon Daly, Maya Erskine, Charlie Saxton and Karan Soni, and was created by Evan Endicott and Josh Stoddard. Slated to include eleven episodes in its first season, the first three episodes are available for free on Amazon Instant Video, but subsequent episodes will be released every week exclusively for Amazon Prime subscribers.
Amazon releases Tumble Leaf, its first original programming geared for kids. The first episode is free on Amazon Instant Video and the rest of the series are available exclusively to Amazon Prime subscribers. Targeted to preschoolers and their parents, the stop-motion animated show features a blue Fox named Fig, his sidekick Stick, and cohort Maple. They live on a ship dry docked adjacent to a beach and a green forest. Created by Drew Hodges and produced by Bix Pix Entertainment, the show is designed to promote “creative thinking and education through a world of adventure and play.”
Amazon adds another series to its original children’s programming produced by Amazon Studios. Creative Galaxy, from Angela Santomero and Out of the Blue, relies on the premise that art is part of our everyday lives. Available to stream on Amazon Instant Video, the first six episodes are free for Amazon Prime subscribers. The show tells the story of space travellers Art and Epiphany who journey the galaxy making art to fix the problems they face. At the end of each show, a live-action featurette allows parents and children to learn how to make the crafts featured in each episode.
Amazon launches Annedroids — its third original programming for kids series. The show revolves around a kid scientist Anne and her human and non-human friends, including a genderless robot negotiating “boy” and “girl” roles. Created by J.J. Johnson and Sinking Ship Entertainment, the series is produced by Amazon Studios, the company’s in-house production company:
[the show] organically showcases the STEAM (Science & Technology interpreted through Engineering & the Arts) curriculum by way of a ‘secret garden’ of science, a junkyard environment where it’s not unusual to see a 16-foot claw-like android helping an 11-year-old kid scientist harness lightning to power up her latest invention – and that’s just episode 1!
Amazon announces it will broadcast all ten episodes of Soloway’s dark comedy Transparent September 26th on Prime Instant Video. Solloway:
I am beyond excited to share Transparent with the world through Amazon. They’ve been so supportive through this incredible process. Artistically, it’s been a dream come true. I absolutely got to make the show I wanted to make.
The show stars Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker, and Jay Duplass. The show follows the lives of a Los Angeles family as they deal with the secrets they have kept from each other. Viewers can watch the pilot for free on Amazon Instant Video.
Amazon introduces a new mobile app, Prime Now, providing one or two hour delivery service on thousands of items such as paper towels, shampoo, books, toys and batteries. The service will initially be available only in Manhattan, though Amazon said it hopes to roll it out to additional cities in 2015. SVP of worldwide operations, Dave Clark:
There are times when you can’t make it to the store and other times when you simply don’t want to go. There are so many reasons to skip the trip, and now Prime members in Manhattan can get the items they need delivered in an hour or less.
The Company announces the Dash Button, for Amazon Prime customers, who can place the device on the wall and tap to automatically order or re-order more than a dozen products such as Tide detergent, Bounty paper towels, and Clorox wipes. The buttons are available to Prime customers immediately for free. Due to the timing of the launch, the company insists the product is not an April Fools’ joke:
Indeed it is real
To celebrate 20 years since its website opened, on July 15, Amazon will have a massive sale involving one of its most successful businesses — Amazon Prime. Prime Day, will feature thousands of deals for Amazon Prime members — more deals than on popular shopping day Black Friday. Deals will be introduced throughout the day beginning at midnight, sometimes as often as every 10 minutes. Prime Day will also feature a photo contest to pair with Prime Photo, a relatively new photo-storage service. Customers can submit photos of how Prime saves them time for the chance to win a $10,000 gift card. Amazon also commissioned artists across the world to showcase #PrimeLiving. The Company may make Prime Day into an annual evnt.
In an e-mail to its marketplace sellers, Amazon says it will stop selling the Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast since those devices don’t “interact well” with Prime Video. No new listings for the products will be allowed and posting of existing inventory will be removed Oct. 29. Roku Inc.’s set-top device, Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation, which work with Amazon’s video service, aren’t affected.