• Amazon has plans to create a TiVo competitor, which will record live streamed video that can be played on smartphones. The device will connect to Amazon’s Fire TVs and would store video locally. At the same time, Prime Video is expanding its streaming services, adding a limited-commercials subscription to CBS All Access, in addition its pre-existing commercial-free, $9.99-per-month option. In May, reports estimated that Amazon Channels would soon represent 55% of à la carte video subscriptions—even if it doesn’t meet that number, Amazon still offers one of the only ways to cultivate online streaming and diversifying its subscriptions will likely bring in more customers.
  • Amazon will soon offer its own music streaming service on Alexa-enabled devices. The company already offers Amazon Music, a membership included in Prime with 2 million songs, and Amazon Music Unlimited, with tens of millions of songs for a monthly fee. While most Alexa owners aren’t using their Echo devices to shop regularly, they are using them to play music—music listening via Alexa grew twofold since 2017. But the company lags far behind Spotify and its 80 million paid subscribers.
  • At the same time, Amazon is trying to make voice shopping via Alexa easier for more shoppers, offering the service on Windows, where Alexa is now compatible with Microsoft’s assistant Cortana. This also means that Echo users will be able to use the Microsoft Outlook program to listen to emails and set up calendar appointments.
  • Amazon debuted its first delivery vans with Prime insignia for its Delivery Service Partners program. The company plans to use delivery partners like Cargo Leasing Solutions—a local business in Austin, TX—to fulfill the “last mile” while helping small businesses grow. Notably, the businesses that partner with Amazon don’t have to maintain an exclusive relationship to the retailer, and they lease vans from a third-party rather than from Amazon itself, meaning cheaper operating costs for both the ecommerce platform and the delivery companies.
  • Amazon may acquire Landmark Theaters. The move would expand Amazon’s brick-and-mortar presence into more than 50 cinemas, as well as bolster its entertainment arm with more film content. It would also give Amazon the ability to unite its own TV and movie efforts and other services with a physical theater experience, just as it is integrating Prime into the Whole Foods experience today.