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Amazon.com, Inc. is an American company founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994. The company sells books, hardware, groceries, apparel, and millions of other products, as well as online services such as instant video, streaming music, and its own branded entertainment on its retail websites. Amazon has both a United States and international arm, and is known for the Kindle e-reader and the Fire smartphone.

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6 Feb, 2014

Second Pilot Season


Amazon debuts its second wave of pilot episodes available for streaming on Amazon Instant Video. The lineup includes a mix of comedy and drama pilots: Bosch, The After, Mozart in the Jungle, The Rebels, and Transparent. Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios:

With our previous set of pilots, customers submitted thousands of reviews within the first few days and more than 80 percent of those reviews were 4 and 5 stars. We collaborated with some of the very best creators in Hollywood — and even some new comers that submitted their show through our open door process — to bring customers a wide array of top-quality shows. This season we have something for everyone with a mix of comedy, drama and kids programming — we can’t wait to hear what customers think.

Viewers will rate their favorite pilots, and selected shows will be greenlit for a full-season distributed by Amazon Studios.

8 Jan, 2014

Licensing deal


CBS and Amazon announce an exclusive licensing deal for the upcoming science fiction series. Amazon will be given exclusive rights to air the episodes online via their Prime service. Episodes will be available for streaming on the service four days after they premiere on Television. CBS:

Our partnership with Amazon for ‘Under the Dome’ helped build a creative, financial and marketing model for event television in the summer. We look forward to using the same model for Extant, a series whose creative auspices, on-screen talent and intriguing concept is already generating great excitement.

1 Dec, 2013

Prime Air


In an interview with 60 minutes host Charlie Rose Bezos reveals that the company has begun development on a drone delivery service to be called Amazon Prime Air:

It won’t work for everything. We’re not going to deliver kayaks or table saws this way.

When launched, customers will be able to order selected products and have them delivered to their doorsteps by a flying autonomous drone charted by exact GPS coordinates. According to Bezos, the drones will have been programmed with redundancies and reliability checks to prevent them from accidentally landing on someone’s head. Amazon says it will take the company “some number of years” to get the technology off the ground and gain FAA approval.

22 Nov, 2013



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.

15 Nov, 2013

Alpha House


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.

19 Apr, 2013

First original pilots


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. 


28 Mar, 2013

Buys Goodreads


Amazon announces it will acquire Goodreads, a website for book lovers to review and share good books they read. Goodreads, which has sixteen million members, will retains its San Francisco offices following the acquisition. Terms of the sale have not been disclosed. Otis Chandler, CEO of Goodreads, posts on the Goodreads blog:

Today I’m really happy to announce a new milestone for Goodreads. We are joining the Amazon family. We truly could not think of a more perfect partner for Goodreads as we both share a love of books and an appreciation for the authors who write them.

According to Amazon, the site will be an independently owned subsidiary of Amazon and will control all editorial content and the recommendations. This is the second time Amazon has purchased a book recommendation website. In 2008, Amazon acquired Shelfari, and it also owns part of Library Thing.

19 May, 2011

E-books surpass print sales


Amazon says electronic books have surpassed traditional print book sales for the first time. The company accounts for about two thirds of  e-book sales. The company reports that it sells 105 e-books for every 100 print books it sells, including books that do not have an electronic version. The figures include sales of Kindle Singles, short form content from magazine and newspaper articles.  The company does not disclose its Kindle sales figures. Bezos:

We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly. We’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years.

16 Nov, 2010

Amazon Studios


In a business venture to promote talent, and to develop new content, Amazon launches Amazon Studios. It’s an initiative from the online retailer to entice screenwriters and filmmakers to submit scripts for possible production under a “first-look deal” with Warner Bros. The company hopes to promote potential feature-length movies and to award $2.7 million to the top submissions. If an Amazon Studios feature is released, the creator receives a rights payment of $200,000, and if the movie makes more than $60 million U.S. dollars at the box office, the original creators will receive a bonus of $400,000. Roy Price, Director of Digital Product Development:

Full-length test movies will show stories up on their feet and attract helpful feedback at an early stage. We hope that Amazon Studios will help filmmakers experiment and collaborate and we look forward to developing hit movies.

28 Jul, 2010

Third Generation Kindle (Kindle Keyboard)


big-viewer-3G-01-lrg._V188696038_Later called the Kindle Keyboard, Amazon announces its third generation reading device. At $139 for a Wi-Fi only version and $189 with 3G, the K3, as some have called it, is according to Jeff Bezos:

… smaller, lighter, and faster, with 50 percent better contrast. Readers are going to do a double take when they see Kindle’s bright new screen and feel how remarkably light the smaller 8.7 ounce design feels in one hand.


Kindle DX


Three months after the launch of the Kindle 2, Amazon releases the Kindle DX. The DX (for “deluxe”) has native PDF support and 9.7 inches of screen with a built-in inclinometer. Price tag: $490.

14 Nov, 2000

Sells e-books


amazon-ebookstore-2001Amazon starts selling electronic books in Microsoft Reader format. Users can download the necessary software from Microsoft for free. The e-book store offers a selection of 1,000 titles. Thirty of the e-books are free. Customers can access the store at: www.amazon.com/e-books.

Once again, Amazon.com is redefining what it means to buy a book. The combination of Amazon.com’s incredible shopping experience and the unique capabilities and instant delivery available with Microsoft Reader will make electronic reading a powerful new reality.

2 Nov, 2000

Opens Japanese website


logoamazonjpAmazon announces Amazon.co.jp, its first Japanese language website. The site will offer Japanese and English language content.


We can now make our customer-centric shopping experience—great service, selection and convenience—available to everyone looking for popular or hard-to-find Japanese-language books.

The site will offer book reviews, author interviews, and recommendations and will compete with existing Japanese retailers including Kinokuniya and Bertelsmann’s BOL.com

1 Sep, 2000

Revises privacy policy


Amazon revises its privacy policy. The new policy, according to the New York Times, discloses how the company collects financial information, Social Security numbers, product searches and the telephone number from which a user calls Amazon’s customer service line.

Amazon also discloses that it can purchase data about customers from other sources. With the new policy in place, in “the unlikely event” anyone who purchases Amazon will also own its customer data, which the company considers a “transferable asset.”

29 Aug, 2000

Opens French website


amazon_fr200Amazon announces it will open a French version of its online store, Amazon.fr, which will serve French customers in and out of France. Based in Guyancourt, the company will open a distribution center in Orleans.


With the launch of Amazon.fr, we’re making the Amazon shopping experience—with our obsession on customers—available to French-speaking customers everywhere.

24 Aug, 2000

Sells cars


In an alliance with Greenlight.com, Amazon announces it will offer a car-selling service on its website. Amazon customers can choose a make and model from various trucks and cars available. After making an initial deposit with a credit card, the car is then purchased at a local dealership, or delivered to the new owner’s home. Jupiter Communications predicts online car sales will account for a third of “auto-buying transactions” by 2004. Greenlight.com has agreed to pay Amazon $82.5 million over a five year period. Bezos:

This is where car buying is going, and we have to be there. As people buy more and more online, they are going to keep coming back to the site that makes it easy and secure for them no matter what category.

20 Mar, 2000

$60m Kozmo.com investment

Announcement0 Comments

Kozmo LogoAmazon invests sixty million dollars in Kozmo.com. The investment will allow Amazon to ship products such as books and compact discs in one hour to residents living in select cities, such as New York and San Francisco. Joe Galli, president and chief operating officer of Amazon reports:

Kozmo.com has developed a strong track record for meeting a unique customer need, and this agreement provides us a one-hour delivery option for the types of products that customers may want immediately.

18 Nov, 1999

Drops ‘Mein Kampf’


Amazon drops Mein Kampf from its German online retail website. The English translation of Adolf Hitler’s memoir, replete with denunciation of Jews, was a top second bestseller in Germany which prompted The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles to file a legal complaint in August against Amazon. A company spokesman:

We’re not shipping it into Germany. It’s still available at our Web site and can be shipped elsewhere.

The original German version is banned in Germany, but the English translation is not.

10 Nov, 1999

Offers credit card


Amazon announces it will offer its own credit card slated for release early next year. In a deal with NextCard, the cobranded Visa card will allow Amazon’s thirteen million customers to get online approval for a credit card “in as little as eight seconds.” The company, which has lost money in the last quarter, and has yet to make a profit, hopes to earn $150 million dollars in fees over the next five years. COO Joe Galli:

With the launch of the Amazon.com NextCard Visa, we are not only helping our customers find, discover, and buy anything they want online, but also showing our thanks by rewarding them with gift certificates based on credit card spending. The combination of Amazon.com’s online retail expertise and NextCard’s online credit card experience creates a valuable new shopping alternative that offers strong appeal to our customers and to all credit card users.