In April, Bezos announced that Prime membership had exceeded 100 million paid members worldwide. Bezos unveiled the figure in his annual shareholder letter — published since 1997 and widely considered a must-read among executives and business leaders around the globe — and noted that in 2017, Prime gained more new members than in any previous year. By comparison, Netflix at the time had 125 million subscribers.
Amazon Studios brings bold and innovative series and films from top tier and up-and-coming creators to customers in over 200 countries and territories. Original productions range from daring and timely subject matter such as Amy Sherman-Palladino’s award-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq; to the critically hailed The Grand Tour, Mozart in the Jungle and Man in the High Castle. In film, Amazon Studios produces and acquires original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution exclusively for Amazon Prime members. At the 2017 Academy Awards, Amazon Studios became the first streaming service to win Oscars for Manchester by the Sea (Best Screenplay, Kenneth Lonergan and Best Actor, Casey Affleck) and The Salesman (Best Foreign Film). Recent notable releases include the box office success The Big Sick, which is one of the top streaming films on Prime. Upcoming films in 2018 include Lauren Greenfield’s Generation Wealth, Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, Dan Fogelman’s Life Itself, Luca Guadagnio’s Suspiria and Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy.
The feature could prove useful for when you don’t know the name of the product you’re looking at, as with shoes. That could turn visual search into a new form of word-of-mouth marketing where every time an owner shows off a product, they’re effectively erecting a billboard for it. Eventually, visual search could help users shop across language barriers.
For instance, Prime members who download the Whole Foods app can save up to 10 percent on select Whole Foods purchases just by scanning their smartphone at a Whole Foods register. Prime members also get discounts on digital services like FreeTime Unlimited, which costs $2.99/month for Prime members or $4.99/month for non-members. Throughout the year, Prime members also get exclusive discounts on Amazon hardware, which the online retailer recently refreshed.
Snap refused to disclose any financial terms of the partnership. It could be earning a referral fee for each thing you buy from Amazon, or it could just be doing the legwork for free in exchange for added utility. A Snapchat spokesperson tells me the latter is the motivation (without ruling out the former), as Snapchat wants its camera to become the new cursor — your point of interface between the real and digital worlds.
Kurt Kuenne was childhood friends with a man named Andrew Bagby, who, in late 2001, was murdered by ex-girlfriend Shirley Turner. Relieved he’d finally put an end to a turbulent relationship, he had no idea Turner was pregnant. So she killed him, then fled to Newfoundland, where she gave birth to Bagby’s son, Zachary. This is how Dear Zachary begins: a visual testament to both Andrew Bagby’s life, as well as the enduring hearts of his parents, who, as Kuenne chronicles, moved to Newfoundland after their son’s murder to begin proceedings to gain custody of Zachary. Kuenne only meant the film to be a gift, a love letter to his friend postmarked to Zachary, to allow the baby to one day get to know his father via the many, many people who loved him most. Told in interviews, photos, phone calls, seemingly every piece of detritus from one man’s life, Kuenne’s eulogy is an achingly sad portrait of someone who, in only 28 years, deeply affected the lives of so many people around him. And then Dear Zachary transforms into something profoundly else. It begins to take on the visual language and tone of an infuriating true-crime account, painstakingly detailing the process by which Bagby’s parents gained custody and then—just as they were beginning to find some semblance of consolation—faced their worst nightmares. The film at times becomes exquisitely painful, but Kuenne has a natural gift for tension and pacing that neither exploits the material nor drags the audience through melodramatic mud. In retrospect, Dear Zachary’s expositional approach may seem a bit cloying, but that’s only because Kuenne is willing to tell a story with all the disconsolate surprise of the tragedy itself. You’re gonna bawl your guts out. —Dom Sinacola
In December 2015, Amazon stated that "tens of millions" of people are Amazon Prime members. Amazon Prime added 3 million members during the third week of December 2015. It was also during December that Amazon announced the creation of the Streaming Partners Program, an over-the-top subscription service that enables Amazon Prime subscribers to add additional streaming video services to their accounts. Among the programming providers involved in the program are Showtime, Starz (with additional content from sister network Encore), Lifetime Movie Club (containing recent original movie titles from Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network), Smithsonian Earth, and Qello Concerts.