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Amazon Ups 3Q Media Revenue 9%

22 Oct, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Technology and content spending increased 32% to $3.19 billion

Amazon Oct. 22 reported third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) North American media sales of $2.96 billion, which was up 9% from sales of $2.74 billion during the previous-year period.

The media segment, which includes books, music, movies, TV shows, video games and consoles, software and digital sales (Amazon Instant Video), saw a 7.5% decline in international sales to $2.32 billion.

Through nine months, North American media sales are up 6.6% to $8.55 billion; down nearly 11% internationally to $6.73 billion.

Media highlights in the quarter included five Emmys for original series “Transparent”; a three-year agreement to produce a new car show featuring former “Top Gear” trio Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James Day and executive producer Andy Wilman; and launches of original series “Red Oaks,” “Hand of God,” “Wishenpoof,” and pending debut of “The Man in the High Castle.”

Another 12 pilots are slated to screen for viewer feedback later this year. Notably, due to the increased output in original programming, spending on content and related technology increased 32% to $3.19 billion, from 2.42 billion a year ago. Through Sept. 30, content and technology spending is up 35% to $8.97 billion — about 12.5% less than Netflix’s $10.1 billion in content obligations.

Amazon launched Prime Instant Video service in Japan to go along with Prime Instant Video in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. The company didn’t update Prime membership data except to reiterate a 50% North American membership growth (53% internationally) at the end of last year.

New pilot "The Man in the High Castle" generated the most viewers of any Amazon original pilot, CFO Brian Olsavsky told investors on the call.

Overall, Amazon reported net income of $79 million on revenue of $25.3 billion, compared with a loss of $437 million on revenue of $20.5 billion a yearago. Shares are up nearly 11% in aftermarket trading.

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