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Amazon Prime Day Live Blog: Follow Along for the Best Deals

It's the middle of July, which means it's time for Amazon's annual Prime Day shopping event, offering Amazon Prime customers the chance to save money on a vast array of items across the retailer's online storefront. Like we did last year, today we've launched a live blog that will track notable Prime Day discounts across Amazon, most of which will relate to Apple products and accessories. You can expect great discounts from companies like Anker, iOttie, and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Prime Day 2019 kicked off earlier this morning at 12:00 a.m. PT, and it will continue through tomorrow, Tuesday July 16 at 11:59 p.m. PT. This makes Prime Day 2019 the longest event so far at a total of 48 hours. In contrast to deals that last for a majority of the event, there will also be limited-time lightning deals that appear at different times throughout Monday and Tuesday, and only last for an hour or so. According to Amazon, new deals will launch as often as every five minutes throughout the event. In this live blog, we'll be tracking lightning deals and longer-lasting discounts as products get marked down throughout Prime Day, as well as competitor sales since retailers like Best Buy, eBay and Target have all been known to launch anti-Prime Day deals. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back for new bargains as Amazon's mid-year shopping event continues into Tuesday night.

Amazon Prime Day Live Blog: The Best Deals Worth Checking Out

Today kicks off Amazon's annual Prime Day shopping event, offering customers with an Amazon Prime subscription the chance to save money on nearly countless items across the retailer's storefront. Since we routinely share great deals on Apple products and accessories being sold on Amazon, we've launched a live blog today that will track notable Prime Day discounts from Apple accessory makers like Anker and EasyAcc, as well as other interesting sales as they go live. Prime Day will officially begin this afternoon at 3 p.m. ET and continue for 36 hours afterwards. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Before that time, Amazon has debuted early access Prime Day discounts on its own range of Alexa and Echo devices, with up to 50 percent off of products like the Echo Look, Fire TV Stick, Fire HD 10 tablet, and more, which are expected to last throughout Prime Day. In contrast to deals that last for a majority of the event, there will also be limited-time lightning deals that appear at different times throughout the day and night, and only last for an hour or so. In this live blog, we'll be tracking lightning deals, longer-lasting discounts, and competitor sales as products get marked down throughout Prime Day, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back for new bargains as Amazon's mid-year shopping event continues into Wednesday morning. Prime Day is over for 2018 – check back next year!

Documents Reveal 26 Million U.S. Viewers Tuned into Amazon Prime Video in Early 2017

Amazon's U.S. audience for all movie and TV show programming on Amazon Prime Video was about 26 million customers in early 2017, according to company documents seen by Reuters. Amazon Prime Video is provided as a benefit to Amazon Prime members who subscribe to Amazon's $99 per year Prime service, and features thousands of TV shows and movies, along with original content produced by Amazon. Amazon has never revealed figures for its total Prime Video audience, but the documents provide an insight into the success of Amazon's successful original programming strategy, which involves producing content to entice consumers into Prime membership and boost merchandise sales. For example, the documents cover late 2014 to early 2017 and compare metrics for 19 shows exclusive to Amazon, including cost, viewership and the number of people they helped lure to Prime. Known as Prime Originals, the shows account for around a quarter of what analysts believe to be total Prime sign-ups over the same period.Video has grown to be one of Amazon’s biggest expenditures at $5 billion per year for original and licensed content, two people familiar with the matter said. The company has never disclosed how many subscribers it won as a result, making it hard for investors to evaluate its programming decisions. The internal documents show what Amazon considers to be the financial logic of its strategy, and why the company is now making more commercial projects in addition to high-brow shows aimed at winning awards, the people said.According to the documents, season one of alternate

Amazon Readies Bid for English Premier League Soccer Streaming Rights

Amazon could be preparing to bid next month for the rights to stream English Premier League football (soccer) matches, if a report by Bloomberg this morning is anything to go by. According to a source familiar with the matter, the digital giant sees the English Premier League as a huge opportunity to draw more people to its Prime membership service in the U.K. and convert occasional customers into more loyal shoppers. Amazon has already bought video streaming rights for live sport including tennis and the National Football League, but the Premier League remains Europe's most prized live sports broadcast asset and with a growing audience in the U.S., fits in perfectly with Amazon's broader strategy to bring more sports content to its global customers. The e-commerce giant recently tied up a deal to produce a documentary series with Manchester City, the current Premier League leaders, which previously increased speculation that it might next pursue live soccer rights. Currently Sky and BT Sport share the rights to the EPL, following an auction in 2015 that saw the broadcasters splash £5.1 billion ($6.9 billion) between them for three seasons. The next auction in February will see seven packages being offered by the Premier League, varying from 32 matches to 20 matches each. Amazon could bid for one of the smaller packages for broadcasting in the U.K., according to Bloomberg. Auctions for streaming rights in other markets are usually held separately. Both Amazon and the Premier League declined to comment. Back in September, Apple revealed its own

Amazon Offers Prime Members 4 Months of Music Unlimited for $0.99

Amazon is offering Prime members who have yet to try its Music Unlimited streaming service a steep discount in the run-up to the company's Prime Day on July 11. Prime subscribers can currently sign up for four months for a total cost of $0.99 (or 99p in the U.K.), with the service reverting to its usual price of $7.99 (£7.99) per month thereafter. The non-Prime price for the service is $9.99 (£9.99) per month. Amazon Music Unlimited launched last year to compete with the likes of Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play Music. Its music catalog of "tens of millions of songs" makes the service distinct from the company's Prime-only music library, which offers access to "over a million songs". A standard Prime subscription costs $99 (£79) annually. The four-month discount is only valid for Prime members and is only redeemable toward an Amazon Music Unlimited Individual Monthly Plan. The offer ends on July 11. Data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) estimates that Amazon Prime membership has grown 35 percent in the past year. Figures suggest there were 85 million Prime members as of June 30, 2017, while CIRP's June 2016 estimate put the number at 63 million. Amazon is an affiliate of MacRumors and the site may benefit if you click product links in this article.

Amazon Announces Third Annual 'Prime Day' for July 11

Following the debut of "Prime Day" in 2015, and its return in 2016, Amazon this morning announced the third annual Prime Day will arrive next month, on July 11. Amazon calls this year's event an "epic day of deals on everything you're into," and like previous iterations you'll have to be subscribed to Amazon Prime to gain access to the discounts. Prime Day is expanding this year as well, beginning officially on July 10 at 6 PM PT and lasting a total of 30 hours into July 11, with "new deals as often as every five minutes." Additionally, Amazon has expanded the sale to 13 total countries in 2017, including the U.S., U.K., Spain, Mexico, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium and Austria. To give a spotlight on small businesses throughout Prime Day, Amazon said that nearly 40 percent of the Lightning Deals that appear during the event will come from small businesses and entrepreneurs. “Our members love Prime Day and we have been thrilled by the response over the last two years. It is inspiring us to make it even better this year for Prime members,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President, Amazon Prime. “Every part of our business is working to deliver more deals for a record number of shoppers. This year’s Prime Day is too big for 24 hours – so we’re giving Prime members 30 hours to shop!” Deals will be organized by more than 20 themes, including topics like pet lovers, gardeners, techies, artists, and more, so shoppers can quickly find items that they're interested in. To entice users to engage with Alexa devices, Amazon is introducing even more

Amazon Dash Wand Barcode Scanner Launched With Built-In Alexa

Amazon has launched a new version of its Dash barcode scanning device for Prime U.S. subscribers that includes the company's ubiquitous virtual assistant built in. Called the Dash Wand, the Alexa-enabled gadget allows users to scan grocery barcodes, convert measurements, and order essential household items from Amazon with the click of a button. Pressing the button activates the Dash Wand, enabling customers to use their voice to ask about recipes and find local restaurants. It's also possible to control smart lighting via the magnetic device, which is designed to be attached to a fridge. With the original Dash, released in 2014, users could scan barcodes and add items to their shopping cart via limited voice controls, but checkout had to be completed on the Amazon site. By contrast, the new $20 Dash Wand allows users to buy items directly. Prime subscribers also receive $20 off their next purchase once they've registered the device, so it basically comes free. In addition, buyers get a free 90-day trial of the AmazonFresh home grocery service. Amazon is an affiliate of MacRumors and the site may benefit if you click product links in this article.

Amazon Reveals Curated TV Subscriptions Strategy with 'Anime Strike' Prime Channel

Amazon launched Anime Strike this week, the company's first self-branded content to appear under its Channels subscriptions program for Prime members. Anime Strike offers U.S. Prime members access to over 1,000 anime TV shows and movies for an extra $4.99 per month on top of the $99 Prime subscription. Amazon says the adult-themed channel will serve up seinen classics as well as weekly anime exclusives from Japan. A seven-day free trial lets Prime members check out the channel, which features "The Great Passage", "Scum's Wish", and "Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga", as well as anime classics like "Paprika" and "Tokyo Godfathers". Amazon's existing add-on video subscription services include channels such as HBO, Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Plus, and Cinemax, but Anime Strike is the company's first own-branded, curated offering. Speaking to Variety, Amazon said it plans to launch additional branded subscription VOD channels in the coming months. The move indicates intensifying competition among streaming services, with a wider range of exclusive content becoming increasingly necessary if companies are to fend off rival offerings. Back in November, sources claimed Apple was considering a price drop for Apple Music in time for the holiday period, with Amazon cited as the "biggest motivation" for the discussions over monthly pricing. However, the service's $9.99 price tag remains in place, and with reports this week that Apple is planning to create its own original TV shows for Apple Music, more content rather than lower cost appears to be the overriding strategy.

Amazon Prime Membership is $79 Tomorrow Only, £59 for U.K. Customers Starting Today

Amazon is set to cut its Prime annual membership price from $99 for a year to $79 on Friday, November 18. The one-day sale will run from 12am ET until 11:59pm PT and is only available for new members. Amazon customers in the U.K. can take advantage of a similar promotion beginning today: Anyone who signs up for Amazon Prime between now and the end of Friday will receive a year's subscription for £59 instead of the usual £79 asking price, essentially amounting to three free months of the service. The promotion coincides with the release of Amazon's new motoring show "The Grand Tour", the first episode of which can be streamed or downloaded on Friday morning by Prime members in the U.K., U.S., Germany, Austria, and Japan. Amazon says the show will be available to watch in 200 countries from December. The benefits of Prime membership include free one-day delivery on eligible items, access to Amazon Prime Video and Prime Music, unlimited cloud photo storage with Prime Photos, access to the Kindle Owner's Lending Library, and early access to Amazon's Black Friday "lightning" deals. Members also get an exclusive discount on subscriptions for Amazon's new Music Unlimited streaming service, giving them access to 40 million songs, compared to the 2 million included in the standard Prime Music package.

Amazon Music Unlimited Rolls Out Across Germany, Austria, and the U.K.

Amazon's streaming music service has gone live in the U.K. and will roll out to Germany and Austria later today, according to TechCrunch. Amazon Music Unlimited launched in the U.S. last month to compete with the likes of Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play Music, which just got a revamp. Amazon Prime members in the U.K. will pay £7.99 per month or £79 per year, while non-Prime members can subscribe to the service for £9.99 per month. A Family Plan for up to six members "coming soon" costs £14.99 per month or £149 per year. Additionally, owners of Amazon's Echo smart speakers have the option of using the service on only those devices for a discounted price of £3.99 per month. "If you want a sense of the future of voice-controlled music, go ahead and ask Alexa for a free Amazon Music Unlimited trial, and play around on your Echo," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, in a statement. If you don't know the name of a song but know a few lyrics, if you want to hear songs from a specific decade, or even if you're looking for music to match your mood, just ask. Our U.S. customers love Amazon Music Unlimited on Echo, and we think our UK customers will too."Amazon said it was "thrilled" with customer reaction to the launch of the service in the U.S., but did not divulge subscription numbers. Amazon Music Unlimited is distinct from the company's Prime-only music library, which offers access to two million songs, whereas the former service offers access to 40 million songs from all the major labels. Prices in the U.S. start at $7.99 per month for Prime members and $9.99 per

'Family Vault' Lets Amazon Prime Members Share Free Photo Storage

Amazon today launched a new Prime Photos feature called "Family Vault", which extends the unlimited photo storage that Amazon Prime subscribers get to their friends and family members (via TechCrunch). For those unfamiliar with Amazon Prime, a $99 per year subscription includes free two-day shipping, unlimited streaming of movies, TV shows and music, and unlimited photo storage, among other benefits. With the arrival of Family Vault, Prime subscribers can now invite up to five family members or friends to join their online account, where they can combine photos and each get another 5GB of storage for uploading videos and other files. The thinking behind Family Vault is to allow close friends and families to see each other's photos and videos in a single location, and be able to access them on their own devices, at no cost to those added by the Prime account holder. The Family Plan announcement also ushers in some new search technology for Prime Photos users, including keyword-related searches for photos with a specific theme or subject (e.g. cat, wedding, beach, and so on) and a face-finding feature called "People". Amazon is also formally announcing a new low-cost photo printing service, with prints starting at 9 cents, with free shipping for Prime members. Further details of all of the company's newly announced features can be found on Amazon's Photos minisite or through the Amazon Photos mobile app.