Amazon Digital Services
What's available through Amazon's digital distribution platform
Amazon began as an online bookstore and rapidly expanded to become the single largest online retailer in the United States. Today, Amazon offers greatly diversified digital services, giving its customers access to a wide and ever-growing range of print, video, music and entertainment content through its various digital service platforms. Even business software, such as HR software, can be obtained through Amazon's digital distribution service. Widely regarded as one of the industry's most innovative companies, Amazon continues to find new ways to bring both traditional and virtual products to its millions of customers.
Amazon's Kindle store is at the heart of its digital services. However, the company has recently added digital content and cloud computing to its digital distribution lineup.
Ebooks at Amazon
Amazon's ebook reader, the Kindle, has become one of the top-selling e-readers in the world, and its popularity has proven to be a great boon to the company's fortunes. In the summer of 2010, Amazon saw its ebook sales eclipse its sales of printed books for the first time, and the company has never looked back. Today, consumers can access an enormous library of titles, including classic works of literature as well as past favorites and current bestsellers, from any Internet-connected device. Kindle owners can shop directly in the virtual store and be reading a new title within seconds.
Users can also purchase music through Amazon MP3, though songs are only available in the mp3 file format. Amazon inked a deal with four major record labels, including EMI, Warner Brothers Music, Universal and Sony Music, and also has distribution deals with a number of specialty labels and independent labels. Millions of songs are available on Amazon MP3, with flexible user options.
Amazon Game Studios
Amazon announced in 2012 that it was planning to launch Amazon Game Studios, a service which will distribute both original and licensed game content. The company plans to develop its own library of video games, which will then be offered for sale over the Internet. While Amazon Game Studios primarily appeals to PC gamers, tablet and smartphone gamers can also take advantage of the growing library of content.
Users who access the Amazon Game Studios webpage will find a tab of navigation options from which they can browse the current library of games and choose a delivery format. Currently, customers can download games directly from the Amazon Game Studios website or purchase them through Google Play or the iTunes digital distribution platform. Games are generally appropriate for all ages, though the company does have plans to start producing niche content as the service becomes more and more prominent.
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services is one of the most successful branches of the company's digital operations. This cloud computing and remote computing platform offers users a full range of Internet-based services. Through Amazon Web Services, you can access:
- Computing clouds
- Networking resources
- Content delivery networks (CDNs)
- Storage and content delivery services (including Amazon Simple Storage Service and Amazon Glacier)
- Database services
- Deployment services
- Web management and online security services
- An app store
- Programming services
- Informational services (such as Amazon Historical Pricing)
- Employment services (Amazon Mechanical Turk)
Amazon Instant Video
Intended to compete with Netflix and other video-on-demand service providers, Amazon Instant Video offers television shows, movies and other video content for instant viewing through its digital pay-per-view distribution platform. Amazon Instant Video first appeared in 2006, and continues to be one of the company's most widely visited subsidiary websites. Users can stream content in up to 1080p high definition and requires only a broadband Internet connection. However, due to restrictions with the company's distribution agreements, the Amazon Instant Video service is currently only available within the United States.