Beginning in October 2016, Prime members in the U.S. receive access to a rotating set of Kindle e-books through Prime Reading. Some magazines and travel guides are also available through the service. Prime Reading is unrelated to the Kindle Owners Lending Library, Kindle Unlimited, and Kindle First, all of which continue to be available.
Elena Ledoux is the founder of MommyGO, a company which makes natural energy products for busy moms that are sold on Amazon. “There is a lot of negative sentiment around Amazon's unfair advantage, which is justified,” says Ledoux, commenting on Amazon’s ability to drive more product reviews for its own stable of brands. “However, everyone forgets about a fair advantage that a product maker can have - to have a superior product. At the end of the day, you can be successful even with fewer reviews if your product is legitimately better.”
Imperiled families are popular forms of community in documentaries this year—on the more heartwarming side is Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, the deceptively straightforward new film from Hoop Dreams director Steve James. In it, James details the ordeal of the Sungs, who ran the only bank to face federal prosecution in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse. What’s even more surprising is that their bank, Abacus Federal Savings, was a tiny, local institution catering to New York City’s Chinatown residents—hardly one of the massive financial corporations that helped crater the world economy. There is a happy ending to Abacus’s legal nightmare, however, but James uses the court case as a means to explore the Sung family, particularly patriarch Thomas Sung, who even in his late 70s still elicits a strong hold over his adult daughters, who help run the bank with him while jockeying to curry his favor. Abacus is a family portrait mixed with current events, and if it’s less ambitious than Hoop Dreams that doesn’t diminish the warmth and subtlety James brings to this look at an anxious, close-knit clan who rally around one another once the government goes after them. —Tim Grierson
Promising review: "I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO IS ALWAYS COLD AND I LOVE THIS BLANKET. VERY THICK! VERY WARM! VERY SHERPA-Y! This blanket is vastly superior to other furry blankets on Amazon and costs less. I am usually a you-get-what-you-pay-for kind of person but that isn't the case here; this blanket is incredible and affordable! I'm very picky and LOVE this blanket." —matt
A.: Amazon states that there are more than 1 million books available in the Kindle Lending Library. To see if a book you want to read qualifies, simply search for it on your Kindle device, Kindle app or the Amazon website, and see if the Prime logo appears next to it. If so, a Prime subscription lets you borrow it for one month. If not, you'll have to pay for it the old-fashioned way.
I bought these as gifts for my mom, sister, and girlfriend and they absolutely loved them! On top of being inexpensive, and free of harmful chemicals, the customer service provided by Julie and Alexa is second to none. They took time out their to inquire if the shipment arrived in time and if I was satisfied with it. They even offered me a promo code to get me to try out their product, as I had mentioned these were gifts. These ladies are on top of their game!
Even considering that the teams launching private-label brands at Amazon have unrestricted access to programs like Vine reviews, they are still “paying” for these perks. The Vine review program is not a fully automated process that runs in the background. It requires technical and human resources to manage thousands of Vine reviewers and product review requests from vendors. Amazon is matching reviewers with samples and shipping the samples out, managing customer service, and maintaining the infrastructure of the program. You can bet that there are heated internal battles for Vine review program privileges on new product launches, even if the internal team is not personally dropping hundreds or thousands of dollars on the activity like brands have to do.
Sports brands such as Nike, Under Armour and Adidas are among the most-bought brands bought on Amazon. These brands’ presence across both clothing and footwear likely supports their leading positions—and, as we discuss later, footwear is a very popular category on Amazon Fashion. Lower-cost casualwear also ranks highly, as do underwear brands such as Hanes and Fruit of the Loom, implying that Amazon is popular for basics.
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.