The book industry’s favourite monster has again produced quite a lot of news. Here is my digest. I am sorry that I was not able to take a look at Amazon’s quarterly results just yet – they will only be published on Friday.

 

amazonAs we know, Amazon is always looking for new ways of disrupting established industry practices. The new DIY textbook creator seems to have been designed to do just that. It is part oft he KDP self publishing behemoth and it basically allows anybody to turn pdf documents into digital textbooks. On the bright side, these textbooks can be used on all platforms, not only on a Kindle. On the not so bright side, I wonder where all these educators out there will source their contents from. I would not be surprised if the good people at Pearson and other educational giants would be very wary of the new tool.

Piracy is the never-go-away concern for everyone dealing with digital content. Why should Amazon fare better? According to reports, the company has now banned the FrostWire app from its store over piracy concerns, following Apple’s lead, which has banned all BitTorrent related apps. The app developer Angel Leon said they were only promoting free and legal downloads with an emphasis on Creative Commons licensed materials. Copyright holders in the USA have taken a very dim view of such apps, which allow sharing digital contents all over the world without restrictions.
Despite being banned from Amazon’s store, Kindle users will still be able to get updates via the FrostWire website. A special installer for Kindle will be available soon.

The storm warnings that shut down New York City on Tuesday may have been somewhat over the top, but for once Amazon tagged along with what the authorities wanted, cutting down its Prime Now one-hour delivery service. While the idea to have your groceries and household goods brought to your doorstep while you are trapped inside because of bad weather may have been attractive to many customers, Amazon nixed the idea by letting concerns for the safety of its couriers come in the way of business. Which is what a good corporate citizen does.

Talking abut Amazon’s Prime services – this seems to be one of the best ideas Jeff Bezos and his people have come up with. According to an analysis, Prime customers will spend 60 billion US-Dollars in 2015, which would be an astonishingly big slice of Amazon’s total sales. The CIRP report states that Prime members spend an average of 1500 US-Dollars per year, more than double the 625 US-Dollars non-members spend. Amazon is said to have increased Prime membership to 40 million customers in 2014. Amazon Prime, which starte das a premium delivery service, now offers instant video and music streaming, free two-day shipping, a Kindle library and photo storage.

Over in the UK, Amazon has established its position as a leading retailer in the games and music markets during christmas season, controlling some 25.6 per cent of overall sales. That is quite an achievement, given that customers still tend to do quite a lot of their shopping in brick-and-mortar shops. Supermarket giant Tesco was trailing in second position, with 14.7 per cent of the market, and HMV (which still has not got a website that lets you shop without you wishing to shoot your head off) with 13.9 per cent.