The new feature illustrates the growing tension between Amazon and the many big and small brands that have become reliant on the site because of its dominance in e-commerce. Amazon is becoming a direct competitor for more sellers, raising questions around how the company's use of its marketplace sales data could potentially give it an unfair advantage over other brands and merchants.
Amazon Vine is also available to non-Amazon brands, but, specifics around how the program works are difficult to determine because Amazon doesn’t make it public. But many analysts say it is fairly expensive to participate, saying it can cost manufacturers as much as $5,000 to obtain reviews for one product, along with the cost of giving the product away. (The money to participate goes to Amazon; the Vine reviewers receive no compensation beyond the free product.)
In April 2015, Amazon rolled out a new travel site called Amazon Destinations, which focuses on helping customers find "getaway destinations" within driving distance of their homes. Amazon Destinations featured hotel selections in three United States metro areas: L.A., New York and Seattle. Later that year, Amazon discontinued the service.
The Echo Auto connects to Alexa through your phone and plays over your car’s speakers. It features eight microphones that the company says can make out your voice even over road noise and music. You can do all the usual Alexa commands, and when you ask for directions, the Echo Auto will send you to Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, or whatever your preferred navigation app is.
Amazon's answer to Apple Music, Spotify and the like gives you access to "tens of millions" of songs -- far more than you get from Prime Music. If you already have a Prime subscription, Music Unlimited costs $7.99 per month -- a few dollars less than the competition charges. However, a family plan makes it $14.99 per month whether you're a Prime subscriber or not, and that doesn't represent any savings over the competition. Indeed, you might want to investigate whether Amazon Music Unlimited is good deal for you before adding it to your account.
In 2012, Amazon announced the launch of Vine.com for buying green products, including groceries, household items, and apparel. It is part of Quidsi, the company that Amazon bought in 2010 that also runs the sites Diapers.com (baby), Wag.com (pets), and YoYo.com (toys). Amazon also owns other e-commerce sites like Shopbop.com, Woot.com, and Zappos.com.