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Amazon CFO: First-Quarter Packaged Media Sales Increased Slightly

26 Apr, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Ecommerce giant said first quarter DVD and Blu-ray Disc movie sales inched higher compared to the previous-year period.

It may be a digital world with greater numbers of consumers opting to stream and download home entertainment, but Amazon said first-quarter (ended March 31) sales of physical media, i.e. movie discs, increased 3%.

The Seattle-based ecommerce behemoth reported a 14% increase in overall North American media sales (which included physical and digital books, video games and music), to more than $2.5 billion compared to the previous-year period.

In an April 25 fiscal call, CFO Tom Szkutak said digital media sales were growing 30% faster than comparatively flat physical media. Digital media sales from third-party Amazon sellers increased 40%.

“Our physical units as a percentage of total units this year versus last year is up over 300 basis points. That’s 3% growth as a percentage of total units,” Szkutak said.

He said unlimited free streaming of TV shows and select movies on Prime Instant Video continues to be a “great service” to customers of its Prime express shipping platform — as underscored by recent high-profile content license deals.

“[But] we also have in a very good transaction business for video,” Szkutak reiterated to an analyst. “That’s growing very, very fast and certainly customers like it. We are seeing that reflected in the result that you see today.”

Meanwhile, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, is slated to release first quarter industry sellthrough and rental data April 30.

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