Amazon Vendor Central looks about the same as it did a month ago, so this month we’re focusing on other Amazon news. In the past month at Amazon: A+ content comes to mobile, cloud creep, the long-anticipated price change of Prime, and what Kindle app saturation in Sao Paulo, Brazil, means for you.
Amazon A+ Pages on Your Mobile Device
A+ pages have always suffered some on their transition to mobile platforms (if they were available at all), but recently their suffering has been lessened. We’ll soon have a full post diving into how A+ content has become more accessible on smartphones and tablets.
Amazon’s Cloud Expands
Following a 2012 lockout due to a lack of security certification, Amazon has again become a contender to provide government services. (The effects of the government’s highly limiting procurement program for IT services is a well-documented thorn in the side of many in recent months.) Amazon has received provisional operating authorization to store low-risk unclassified data for the Department of Defense, only the second company to receive that authority. That means data classified as secret and above will not be stored on Amazon servers, so don’t worry–your FBI file isn’t going to start affecting your product recommendations.
Prime Price Goes Up
After much public hinting, the price of Amazon Prime has jumped from $79 to $99 a year, effective on your renewal date (if you renew on April 17 or after). Students will go from paying $39 to $49 per year. Not coincidentally, hot on the heels of the hike is news of a spike in Amazon original programming, including two shows for kids and a drama from the creator of The X-Files.
Amazon Enters Education … in Brazil
Amazon’s interest in educational textbooks is far from new, but they’ve spent recent months shoring up resources (acquiring TenMarks and making strategic hires) without much aggressive movement to show for it. However, their work with government-issued student tablets in Brazil may give hints about their plans. The push in Sao Paulo centers around the free Kindle app. The speculation is that Amazon is using the carrot of free distribution of classics in Portuguese to saturate the education market before leaping into sales of e-textbooks.