Inside Amazon - December 15th, 2016

Inside Amazon (Dec 15th, 2016)


Amazon.com (AMZN): 761.00 (-1.02%)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shared a photo of an Amazon Prime drone making the company’s first successful trial delivery, which took place last week in Cambridge, England. The delivery, a package containing a Fire TV streaming device and some popcorn, arrived 13 minutes after the customer placed the order. Amazon also shared a video of the delivery process. Recode summarizes the official specifics that Amazon has released, including confirmation that the drone is fully autonomous. – COMPLEX

Amazon Prime Video is moving into international markets, specifically those where competitor Netflix might be considered unaffordable. Netflix’s prices internationally tend to be comparable to its US rate of $7.99 per month. Amazon Prime Video comes bundled with the overall Amazon Prime service in certain countries like the US, but in places where there is no Amazon delivery service, the company is set to offer Prime Video for a “hello world” price comparable to $2.99 a month for the first six months. The rate will eventually rise to a “sustainable” $5.99 per month, according to Amazon Studios head Roy Price. – ADAGE

By next summer, all 4,748 guest rooms at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel will come equipped with Amazon’s proprietary AI, Alexa, via a dedicated Amazon Echo. Hotel industry followers have been expecting this kind of announcement, with one expert calling the Echo move a game-changer and saying, “Imagine in the future when you go to the Wynn and you open the door, and it says, ‘Hello... Welcome back to Wynn. Would you like me to book your show tickets like you did last time?’” – LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Barron’s considers the advantages of Amazon’s Prime-exclusive “Buttoned Down” clothing line. The line of men’s dress shirts sells at a significant discount when compared to similar items for sale at established department stores. And items from the line come with an unconditional money-back guarantee. The brand will soon expand to include pants and sweaters. About the “Buttoned Down” move, Barron’s says Amazon “gets to keep more of the upside and gains leverage over other brands.” – BARRON’S

At Wednesday’s tech summit with President-elect Donald Trump, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos appeared to strike a conciliatory, and even optimistic, tone. Trump asked each of the tech leaders at the gathering to introduce themselves, and Bezos reportedly answered, “Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com. Super excited about the possibilities this could be the innovation administration.” Bezos later released a statement calling the meeting “productive.” Trump and Bezos have had a contentious public relationship in recent times, with the former threatening on the campaign trail to give Amazon “problems.” – BI

Amazon’s series “The Grand Tour” is now the most-pirated show in history, beating out HBO’s “Game of Thrones” for the dubious honor. Analysts from the anti-piracy group Muso report that the first three episodes of “The Grand Tour,” Amazon’s “Top Gear” reboot,” have been illegally downloaded 20.7 million times, with the lion’s share reported sourcing from the UK. Muso’s chief commercial office, Chris Elkins, estimates that Amazon must have lost around four million USD on the first episode alone. The premiere for “The Grand Tour” was also Amazon’s most-watched premiere yet. – FORTUNE

PC World’s Hayden Dingman reviews Amazon’s debut video game, “Breakaway.” Dingman reports that the game, a kind of basketball fever dream featuring gladiators and battle axes, is further evidence that the more fanciful sports games can be counted on to more faithfully “mimic the feel” or real sports when compared to more real-world based football, hockey, and soccer releases. Teams in “Breakaway” are made from “heroes drawn from history and legend,” including rebel slave Spartacus, a massive Black Knight, and Arthurian sorceress Morgan Le Fay. The game is currently in a short Alpha phase, lasting until December 19th. – PCWORLD

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