Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

LivingSocial to Run Discount Promotions in Wake of 40-Hour Outage

November 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

How low can LivingSocial’s prices go? In a bid to make amends for a rare 40-hour outage that crippled its website, apps and merchant center on Tuesday and Wednesday, LivingSocial is running promotions for U.S. and Canadian shoppers this weekend. On Friday, U.S. and Canadian customers can get 25 percent off local and travel deals by using the promo codes HEART25 and HEART25CA, respectively.

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Amazon Convinces Postal Service to Start Making Sunday Deliveries

November 11, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It turns out that not only is the U.S. Postal Service delivering on Saturdays, but under a new deal with Amazon, they will be making some deliveries on Sunday as well. Announced, fittingly, on Sunday evening, Amazon said that Prime customers in New York and Los Angeles can now get packages delivered via the local postman on Sundays. Amazon said the service will expand to “a large portion of the U.S. population” next year, including those in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix, among other cities. “If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can order a backpack for your child on Friday and be packing it for them Sunday night,” Amazon VP Dave Clark said in a statement. “We’re excited that now every day is an Amazon delivery day and we know our Prime members, who voraciously shop on Amazon, will love the additional convenience they will experience as part of this new service.” A statement from the post office suggests the service may not be limited to Amazon. “As online shopping continues to increase, the Postal Service is very happy to offer shippers like Amazon the option of having packages delivered on Sunday,” said Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe. “With this new service, the Postal Service is now delivering packages seven days a week in select cities. Customers can expect the same reliable and valued service that the Postal Service currently provides.” An Amazon representative said that the Sunday service is currently only available to Amazon customers.

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Realities of Performance Appraisal

November 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Much has been written recently about performance ratings and management at some large and successful companies. Amazon has surfaced as a company implementing OLRs, organization and leadership reviews, which target the least effective 10% of an organization for appropriate action. Yahoo recently implemented QPRs, quarterly performance reviews, which rates people as “misses” or “occasionally misses” among other ratings. And just so we don’t think this is something unique to tech, every year about this time Wall St firms begin the annual bonus process which is filled with any number of legendary dysfunctions given the massive sums of money in play. Even the Air Force has a legendary process for feedback and appraisal. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Realities of Performance Appraisal

November 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Much has been written recently about performance ratings and management at some large and successful companies. Amazon has surfaced as a company implementing OLRs, organization and leadership reviews, which target the least effective 10% of an organization for appropriate action. Yahoo recently implemented QPRs, quarterly performance reviews, which rates people as “misses” or “occasionally misses” among other ratings. And just so we don’t think this is something unique to tech, every year about this time Wall St firms begin the annual bonus process which is filled with any number of legendary dysfunctions given the massive sums of money in play. Even the Air Force has a legendary process for feedback and appraisal. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Sports Programming Dominates the Living Room

November 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Image copyright Jonathan G In the era of digital media, content is king, and sports content is the king of kings. The sports industry reaches a larger market than music, movies and episodic television combined. Sports content also plays a major role in consumers’ choices about television service providers, the checks they write each month to pay for their broadcast content, as well as the decisions to upgrade the televisions in their homes. Recent developments have cast a spotlight on the ever-increasing value of sports content. First, sports are more popular than ever. According to a Kantar Sports Media study in 2012 , 170 million adults — 71 percent of the U.S. population — identify themselves as sports fans. Second, given heavy competition from the increasing number of content providers, major networks, such as CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC, are looking for additional content that can drive advertiser-friendly demographics — read: Sports, in significant numbers. Third, TV service providers, fearful of consumers “cutting the cord” in favor of services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, realize they can get a competitive advantage with both live and differentiated content — again, chiefly sports. This new sports-centered media landscape has shifted the balance of power between sports broadcasters and TV service providers. Those who hold the rights to broadcast sports programming enjoy tremendous negotiating leverage that they use to extract an increasing amount of money from the television service providers. For example, in the recent public feud between CBS and Time Warner Cable, a dispute over broadcast fees led to a lengthy blackout of CBS content for Time Warner customers. Although a broad swath of CBS programming was at stake, it was clear that the ultimate bargaining chip all along was NFL programming, which CBS held the rights to broadcast. TWC had no choice but to bow to the pressure of CBS before the NFL regular season started. The TWC-CBS dispute illustrates a larger trend: The sports bill has gone way up for the television service providers, and there’s no apparent end in sight. TV providers collectively will be paying over $17.2 billion for access to sports content this year from the rights holders (source: SNL Kagan). Even more notably, these deals are structured to last multiple years, sometimes decades, so the total liability for providers is well beyond $100 billion. In one well-documented example, DirecTV shelled out $4 billion to the NFL for the exclusive rights to Sunday Ticket for only a four-year term extension. The price for sports rights continues to escalate as these contracts come up for renewal.

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Sports Programming Dominates the Living Room

November 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Image copyright Jonathan G In the era of digital media, content is king, and sports content is the king of kings. The sports industry reaches a larger market than music, movies and episodic television combined. Sports content also plays a major role in consumers’ choices about television service providers, the checks they write each month to pay for their broadcast content, as well as the decisions to upgrade the televisions in their homes. Recent developments have cast a spotlight on the ever-increasing value of sports content. First, sports are more popular than ever. According to a Kantar Sports Media study in 2012 , 170 million adults — 71 percent of the U.S. population — identify themselves as sports fans. Second, given heavy competition from the increasing number of content providers, major networks, such as CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC, are looking for additional content that can drive advertiser-friendly demographics — read: Sports, in significant numbers. Third, TV service providers, fearful of consumers “cutting the cord” in favor of services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, realize they can get a competitive advantage with both live and differentiated content — again, chiefly sports. This new sports-centered media landscape has shifted the balance of power between sports broadcasters and TV service providers. Those who hold the rights to broadcast sports programming enjoy tremendous negotiating leverage that they use to extract an increasing amount of money from the television service providers. For example, in the recent public feud between CBS and Time Warner Cable, a dispute over broadcast fees led to a lengthy blackout of CBS content for Time Warner customers. Although a broad swath of CBS programming was at stake, it was clear that the ultimate bargaining chip all along was NFL programming, which CBS held the rights to broadcast. TWC had no choice but to bow to the pressure of CBS before the NFL regular season started. The TWC-CBS dispute illustrates a larger trend: The sports bill has gone way up for the television service providers, and there’s no apparent end in sight. TV providers collectively will be paying over $17.2 billion for access to sports content this year from the rights holders (source: SNL Kagan). Even more notably, these deals are structured to last multiple years, sometimes decades, so the total liability for providers is well beyond $100 billion. In one well-documented example, DirecTV shelled out $4 billion to the NFL for the exclusive rights to Sunday Ticket for only a four-year term extension

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Amazon Celebrates the FAA’s "Nick Bilton Ruling" With One-Day Kindle Sale

November 4, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Amazon said in a message on its homepage on Monday that it was running a one-day, 15-percent-off sale for its new line of Kindles to celebrate the Federal Aviation Administration’s recent reversal of a longtime policy that banned airplane passengers from using electronic devices during takeoff and landing. Nick Bilton , the New York Times journalist who had pushed for the change, received a shout-out from Jeff Bezos in the prepared remarks for Amazon’s third-quarter earnings report.

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Delta Celebrates FAA Gadget Sanity With a Viral YouTube Hit

November 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The Federal Aviation Administration’s move to let people use their iPhones and Kindles while planes are taking off and landing — like they’re already doing, anyway — isn’t just good news for travelers. It was an opportunity for Delta’s social media team to strut their stuff. The FAA announced the change on Thursday .* Today, Delta put this up on YouTube: I’m not exactly sure that I would want to associate my airline with a clip that featured a crying kid for 30 seconds. But it’s probably a better fit than, “My kid came back from dental surgery and he is totally stoned. Check it out! ” I’m a reasonably close YouTube watcher, but I have to confess that I didn’t recognize the source material for this one, even though Delta spells it out (and presumably has compensated the people who own the source material). It’s “Lily’s Disneyland Surprise,” which has generated 13 million views in the last two years. Thanks to Skift for pointing it out. * In my filter bubble, this is referred to as the “Bilton Rule.”

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Amazon Mines Its Data Trove to Bet on TV’s Next Hit

November 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In May, a dozen Amazon.com Inc. executives, including Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, gathered in a Seattle conference room to select the first original TV shows the company would produce for its streaming video service. A group of 14 “pilot” episodes had been posted on the company’s website a month earlier, where they were viewed by more than one million people. After monitoring viewing patterns and comments on the site, Amazon produced about 20 pages of data detailing, among other things, how much a pilot was viewed, how many users gave it a 5-star rating and how many shared it with friends. Those findings helped the executives pick the first five pilots—winnowed down from an original pool of thousands of show ideas—that would be turned into series. The first will debut this month: “Alpha House,” a political comedy about four politicians who live together, written by Doonesbury comic strip creator Garry Trudeau. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Amazon Builds the Spheres, While Google Opts for the Hulk

October 26, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

As with Apple, Facebook, Samsung and many other tech companies, Amazon and Google are in the analog building business of late. According to the Seattle Times , the e-commerce giant had its plan for a “five-story office building formed by three intersecting spheres” unanimously thumbs-upped by that city’s design-review board. There are still other approvals to go, as well as building permits, for the structure in downtown Seattle by architect NBBJ, part of a larger 3.3 million square-foot campus. Noted the Times: “The spheres still would range in height from 80 feet to 95 feet and feature a mix of flex work space and an atrium of plants and trees. The area between the spheres and a 38-story office tower would still include a dog park, a walkway and an open field.” Perhaps more intriguingly, Google is apparently working on a floating data center that CNET is describing as “hulking.” Wrote CNET: “It’s unclear what’s inside the structure, which stands about four stories high and was made with a series of modern cargo containers … One expert who was shown pictures of the structure thinks so, especially because being on a barge provides easy access to a source of cooling, as well as an inexpensive source of power — the sea. And even more tellingly, Google was granted a patent in 2009 for a floating data center, and putting data centers inside shipping containers is already a well-established practice.” And, of course, since it’s Google, it’s hiding in plain site in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. Google also has a big HQ project going with NBBJ , which is also the architect behind the new Samsung North America campus in Silicon Valley and Tencent’s new digs in China. Facebook, too, has ambitious plans to expand its campus. And, of course, Apple has already got the go-ahead for its Apple Campus 2 project , a 2.8-million-square-foot structure of curved glass, concrete and steel nicknamed the “Spaceship.” (Image of Amazon offices rendering courtesy of NBBJ.)

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