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Amazon Readying 'Video Business Update' April 2

27 Mar, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Scuttlebutt suggests announcement will focus on music, gaming and video service via proprietary set-top box

Amazon has issued select press invites to an April 2 event in New York from Peter Larsen, VP, Kindle, that promises “an update on our video business,” without elaborating.

The summons is typical of the guarded e-commerce behemoth, which has a history of releasing scant — but suggestive — hints online and letting the media ratchet up the speculation. 

Indeed, media reports suggest Amazon will announce details of a set-top video device that would focus on gaming, music and video — aiming to take on Apple TV, Rook and Google Chromecast. The trio reportedly have sold nearly a combined 23 million streaming media units.

The device would include access to Amazon Prime Instant Video and Amazon Instant Video, the service’s digital content store.

Amazon’s push comes as Google reportedly is working on an Android-based set-top, and Apple and Comcast are partnering for rebooted Apple TV that would operate on Comcast’s X1 broadband network.

Amazon, through its Lab 126 subsidiary in Sunnyvale, Calif., has been working on the Android-based sub-$300 retail device for some time. The lab is responsible for developing Amazon’s Kindle tablet.

In December, Amazon hosted an invitation-only developer happy hour in Boston to discuss a new product that it claimed “would be even bigger than Kindle.”

During GameStop’s March 27 fiscal call, CEO Paul Raines hinted — without expounding — at pending developments in the digital gaming industry involving third-party distribution.


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