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$AMZN General Update: Amazon announced that Prime members in US can instantly watch debut season of the Amazon Original Series, Mozart in the Jungle in high dynamic range (HDR) at no additional cost to their membership, marking the first video service to offer HDR. HDR brings greater contrast, images appear vivid, rich and lifelike than ever before
$AMZN announced the opening of The Spheres, its newest Seattle HQ buildings which have no enclosed offices or conference spaces. The Spheres feature treehouse meeting rooms, river and waterfall features, a four-story living wall, and epiphytic trees. The project created more than 600 full-time jobs, and is part of a more than $4Bil investment.
$AMZN has chosen 20 metropolitan areas as proposed locations for HQ2, its second headquarters. These are Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County, Nashville, Newark, New York City, Northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto and Washington DC.
$AMZN reviewed 238 proposals from across the US, Canada, and Mexico to host HQ2, its second headquarters in North America. The company has chosen 20 metropolitan areas for the next phase of the process. $AMZN expects to make a decision in 2018. The company plans to invest over $5Bil and create as many as 50,000 jobs at HQ2.
$AMZN said Amazon Music Unlimited will become available in Australia and New Zealand starting February 1, giving users access to a catalogue of more than 45MM songs and hundreds of playlists and personalised stations. New subscribers can sign up for a free 90-day trial of Amazon Music Unlimited for a limited time.
Amazon Web Services, Inc., an $AMZN company, announced that Comcast Cable has selected AWS as its preferred public cloud infrastructure provider. Comcast Cable will expand its use of AWS by migrating material workloads and building new applications on AWS.
$AMZN announced the Virtual Dash Button Service (VDBS), an SDK that allows third parties to offer virtual Dash Buttons on their screened devices. Virtual Dash Buttons are shortcuts that allow Prime members to quickly find and reorder products from a selection of millions of eligible products.
$AMZN has added device makers including HP, Kenmore, 3M’s Filtrete brand, Epson, and Blustream to its Dash Replenishment program. Dash Replenishment enables smart, connected devices to measure supply consumption through inputs, including infrared and other sensor arrays. It then signals an automatic reorder of supplies before they run out.
$AMZN said more than 300,000 US-based small and medium-sized businesses joined the Amazon Marketplace in 2017 and SMBs on $AMZN sold billions of items to customers around the world. Half of the items sold on $AMZN are from SMBs, many of whom choose to use Fulfillment by Amazon. In 2017, FBA shipped billions of items for SMBs worldwide.
$AMZN celebrated its biggest holiday season. Prime membership continued to grow this holiday. In one week alone, more than 4MM people started Prime free trials or began paid memberships. More than 1Bil items were ordered from small businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide this season, with Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick being the top-selling products.
$AMZN announced the launch of Mozilla Firefox and Amazon Silk browsers on all Amazon Fire TV devices in over 100 countries and territories. This gives customers access to popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, news sites, video sharing services, and other sports, and entertainment content in addition to the existing movies and TV shows.
$AMZN's Amazon Web Services, Inc. launched the AWS EU (Paris) Region. With this launch, AWS now provides 49 Availability Zones across 18 technology infrastructure regions globally with another 12 Availability Zones and four regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Sweden, and a second AWS GovCloud Region in the US expected to come online by early 2019.
In an effort to improve digital experience for home improvement customers, $LOW has named Vikram Singh as SVP, Chief Digital Officer, effective Jan. 4, 2018. Singh joins Lowe's most recently from $AMZN and brings extensive experience across product strategy, engineering, marketing, business development, operations and user experience design.
Amazon Web Services, Inc., an $AMZN company, and Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology Co. Ltd. (NWCD), a cloud services provider in China, announced a strategic technology partnership and the launch of the AWS China (Ningxia) Region, operated by NWCD. AWS also has plans for another 15 Availability Zones across five AWS Regions.
Amazon Music Unlimited, $AMZN’s full-catalog streaming service, announces its expansion into 28 additional countries, offering a catalog of more than 40MM songs and thousands of playlists and personalized stations to listeners around the globe. At launch, Amazon Music Unlimited is available at three plan options with prices varying per country.
Amazon Web Services, Inc., an $AMZN company, announced Alexa for Business, a new AWS service to help automate tasks like starting conference calls, controlling conference room equipment, scheduling meetings, keeping track of tasks, or reordering supplies. Alexa for Business includes the tools to set-up and manage Alexa devices and enroll users.