Jeff Bezos: 175 Million Amazon Prime Members Streamed Movies, TV Shows in 2020

With Amazon Prime Video set to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, Amazon founder/CEO Jeff Bezos said the longtime SVOD platform saw more than 175 million Prime members worldwide stream movies and TV shows in 2020.

Amazon Studios received a record 12 Academy Award nominations (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and Time), and two wins for Sound of Metal. Regina King’s feature directorial debut, One Night in Miami …, received numerous accolades, including a Critics’ Choice Award as well as Golden Globe, SAG, and Oscar nominations. Upcoming Amazon Studios’ originals include Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, The Tomorrow War and The Underground Railroad, among others.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“Streaming video hours are up more than 70% year over year,” Bezos said in a shareholder letter.

Jeff Bezos

The quarter marked Amazon Studios’ most successful awards season to date and the first time a streaming service won a Best Picture Golden Globe award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Original titles earned 10 Globe nominations and three awards for Small Axe (Supporting Actor John Boyega) and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Best Picture Musical/Comedy and Best Actor Musical/Comedy).

Paramount Pictures’ Coming 2 America launched worldwide on Prime Video, becoming the No. 1 streamed movie its opening weekend and the top opening weekend for a streamed movie this year, according to Screen Engine/ASI.

In addition, new Amazon Original Invincible premiered to praise from TV critics, and Prime Video debuted Local Originals The Stand (Canada), Guerra de Likes (Mexico), The Great Escapists (U.K.), La Templanza (Spain) and We Children from Bahnhof Zoo (Germany).

Amazon announced new series for Prime Video, including a “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” remake created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Donald Glover, as well as a young adult series, “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” from writer Jenny Han.

Meanwhile, online sales topped a record $52.9 billion, up 44% from revenue of $36.6 billion in the previous-year period. E-commerce includes myriad products, but Seattle-based Amazon points out that revenue includes media products available in both a physical (DVD and 4K UHD and Blu-ray Disc) and digital format, such as books, music, videos, games and software. These product sales include digital products sold on a transactional basis.

Subscription services revenue, which includes Prime Video, digital video, audiobook, digital music, e-book, and other non-AWS subscription services, topped $7.5 billion, up 36% from revenue of $5.5 billion during the previous-year period.

Merchandising: ‘Nomadland’ Homeless on Blu-ray

Disney-owned Searchlight Pictures perfectly timed the Blu-ray release of Nomadland for April 27, two days after the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony at which the film won the Oscar for Best Picture.

However, copies of the film were nowhere to be found at major retail shelves on the day of its release. Target, Walmart and Best Buy all relegated the Nomadland Blu-ray to their online store. It received worse treatment at Amazon, which didn’t even list it until the day it came out, and even then only as available from third-party marketplace sellers (meaning Amazon isn’t selling it directly — likely another casualty of the e-commerce behemoth’s long-running disputes with Disney over physical media availability).

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Best Buy at least paired the Nomadland Blu-ray with a deal to get a month of Internet TV service Philo for $1, a savings of $19 off the regular $20 monthly fee. The Blu-ray itself costs $22.99, bringing the total deal to $23.99.

The only other notable exclusive for the week also came at Best Buy, which offered a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook of 1987’s Dirty Dancing for $19.99.

Best Buy’s ‘Dirty Dancing’ 4K Steelbook

Amazon Bows Next-Generation Fire HD 10 Tablets

Amazon today announced the next generation of Fire HD 10 tablets — the all-new Fire HD 10 and first Fire HD 10 Plus offering a brighter full HD display and updated design.

Plus buyers get a detachable keyboard case and a Microsoft 365 Personal subscription. Amazon also introduced an all-new Fire HD 10 Kids tablet for kids ages 3-7, and new Fire Kids Pro tablets built with 6- to 12-year-olds in mind.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“The new Fire HD 10 is brighter, thinner and lighter, with an octa-core processor for fast and responsive performance, 50% more RAM, and all-day battery life,” Kevin Keith, VP of Amazon Devices, said in a statement.

The $149.99 all-new Fire HD 10 features an octa-core 2.0 GHz processor and 3GB RAM, with 50% more RAM than the previous generation; a 10.1-inch, 1080p full-HD display that is 10% brighter than the previous generation with more than two million pixels.

The device features a thinner and lighter design with uniform bezels, and a screen strengthened with aluminosilicate glass; an updated battery with up to 12 hours of battery life; 32GB or 64GB of internal storage; plus support for up to 1TB of expandable storage via a microSD card.

The tablet includes a 2MP front-facing camera that is landscape oriented to support widescreen video calls by asking Alexa to make a call, or use apps like Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams.

An all-new feature for Fire OS shows two compatible apps like Messenger from Facebook and Prime Video, side-by-side for easy multi-tasking.

In addition to enhanced parental controls, the new Fire HD 10 tablets are certified by Carbon Trust’s ‘Reducing CO2’ Product Carbon Footprint Label, a certification that demonstrates a reduction in the carbon footprint of products, year-over-year.

The 179.99 Fire HD 10 Plus features 4GB RAM, slate colored finishes, wireless charging with any compatible Qi certified charger, or pair with the Made for Amazon wireless charging dock from Anker (sold separately), and Fire HD 10 Plus transitions from a portable tablet to a countertop smart display with hands-free access to Alexa in Show Mode.

The $219.99 “Productivity Bundles” include either a Fire HD 10 or Fire HD 10 Plus and all-new Bluetooth keyboard with detachable case lets you adjust screen-viewing angles. The case can also be purchased separately for $49.99.

The tablet includes a 12-month subscription to premium Microsoft Office apps, 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, and more, which you can use on up to five compatible devices at the same time. The subscription auto-renews after one year at the regular rate ($69.99).

Accessory cases are available for Fire HD 10 and Fire HD 10 Plus tablets in Black, Lavender Haze, Deep Sea Blue and Olive Green. All tablets and accessories begin shipping on May 26.

New Series ‘Donkey Hodie’ Headed to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel May 3

PBS Distribution May 3 will add the new series “Donkey Hodie” to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Following the adventures of Donkey Hodie, granddaughter of the original Donkey Hodie character from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” (now known as “Grampy Hodie”), the new preschool puppet series arrives with three volumes. Children follow Donkey and her pals as they go on music-filled adventures while learning valuable lessons about resilience, persistence and problem solving.

The series is produced by Fred Rogers Productions (“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”) and Spiffy Pictures (“Nature Cat”) and features original music along with reimagined versions of Rogers’ songs.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In volume one, Donkey Hodie must wait until all her pals are together to open a present. She uses her imagination to help pass the time. Then, Harriett Elizabeth Cow wants Donkey and her pals to try her new invention, the Bounce-a-Rino, and they must decide who bounces first. Also, a scary monster appears during Donkey and Panda’s sleepover.

In volume two, Donkey gives her new flower too much water, and it grows so big that it disrupts her garden and her pals’ fun. Then, when the wind ruins Donkey and Panda’s Camp Buddy Buddy plan, they must change the plan. Plus, Donkey and Panda host King Friday for the day, but they don’t know what kings like to do.

In volume three, Donkey and Panda lose Bob Dog’s favorite ball in Spooky Shadow Swamp, and they must find their inner bravery to get it back. Then, a noisy penguin interrupts Donkey and Panda’s band practice. Plus, Donkey creates a sculpture for the Someplace Else art show, makes mistakes and feels ready to give up.

Also coming to the channel in May are volume 10 of “Pinkalicious & Peterrific” and volume 17 of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”

Culinary Series ‘How She Rolls’ to Debut on PBS Living Channel in May

In May, “How She Rolls,” a half-hour lifestyle documentary and culinary series, will debut on the PBS Living channel, available on Prime Video and Apple TV Channels.

The subscription rate for PBS Living is $2.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. PBS Living is also available on Apple TV Channels in the Apple TV app at a subscription rate of $2.99 per month with no additional annual fees.

The program follows the life of Carrie Morey, an award-winning baker, entrepreneur, and mother, wife and daughter who transformed a made-by-hand mail order biscuit company, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, into one of the South’s best small business success stories.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Each episode follows Morey as she balances being a mom to three daughters with the pressures of being a business owner in what has been an unpredictable year. Whether she’s traveling the country to attend food expos, dealing with the obstacles of opening a new breakfast and lunch biscuit eatery three hours from home, or putting work aside to prepare a dinner for her family, viewers follow Morey’s challenges and triumphs.

In the 10-episode inaugural season, viewers are introduced to Morey as she runs a growing business from her kitchen, her car, food festivals, her daughter’s volleyball games and anywhere else she finds herself. The series takes us from the early beginnings of starting her business — juggling her family life while opening a new store in Charlotte, N.C. — and soon after the opening, when the pandemic hits and the coronavirus overtakes America. Over the next few months, Morey sheds staff and runs out of flour, but also discovers a new path to success. With faith and determination, Morey is able to take her employees to a dairy farm to learn how buttermilk is made, cook with her parents (her culinary inspiration) and begin to create recipes for a new cookbook.

Three Murder Mystery Films With Agatha Christie Character Coming to PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in May

Three murder mystery films, Agatha and the Truth of Murder, Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar and Agatha and the Midnight Murders will be streaming on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in May.

In the films, viewers follow what might have happened to the author Agatha Christie, a writer who also happens to investigate real life crimes.

The subscription rate for the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Due May 11 is Agatha and the Truth of Murder. In the film, in 1926, with her writing in crisis and her personal life in tatters, a young Agatha Christie decides to solve a real-life murder. With Dean Andrews (“Ashes to Ashes,” “Life on Mars”), Bebe Cave (“Victoria,” “Great Expectations”), Amelia Dell and Ruth Bradley (“In Her Skin,” “Grabbers”) as Agatha Christie.

Coming May 18 is Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar. In the film, set in 1928, bruised from divorce and struggling with fame, Agatha travels to Iraq and finds a web of murder, intrigue and love. With Jonah Hauer-King (A Dog’s Way Home, World on Fire, Little Women) and Lyndsey Marshal (The Hours, Rome, Hereafter) as Agatha Christie.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Available starting May 25 is Agatha and the Midnight Murders. In the film set in London in 1940, as the Blitz rages and her future is threatened by fallout from the war, Agatha makes the decision to kill off her most famous creation. With Blake Harrison (A Very English Scandal, World on Fire, “The Great”), Jacqueline Boatswain (Bloodborne, London Voodoo), Gina Bramhill (Us, “Sherlock,” “Endeavour”) and Helen Baxendale (Anonymous, “Cold Feet”) as Agatha Christie.

In addition, “Masterpiece: Indian Summers” seasons one and two will be added to the channel in May, as well as a number of international programs from Walter Presents including “Le Monstre,” “1864,” “Crimes of Passion” and “The Nordic Murders.”

‘Them’ Top Rising Show on Weekly TV Time Chart

Amazon Prime’s “Them” was the top show on the rise on the TV Time chart for the week ended April 11.

Season one of the horror series follows a Black family in the 1950s who moves from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood. They are threatened in their idyllic home by malevolent forces, next door and otherworldly.

On the binge chart, following perennial binge favorite “Grey’s Anatomy” at No. 1 was the anime series “Attack on Titan,” which dropped from No. 1 to No. 2. The series is based on the manga and is set in a world where humanity lives within cities surrounded by enormous walls that protect them from gigantic man-eating humanoids referred to as Titans.

Follow us on Instagram

TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by almost 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Top Binge Shows Week Ended April 11 by Share of Binges:

  1. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC U.S.) — 2.28%
  2. “Attack on Titan” (NHK) — 2.15%
  3. “LOL: Last One Laughing” (IT) (Amazon Prime Video) — 1.96%
  4. “Modern Family” (ABC U.S.) — 1.76%
  5. “The 100” (The CW) — 1.75%
  6. “One Piece” (Fuji TV) — 1.71%
  7. “Who Killed Sara?” (Netflix) — 1.44%
  8. “The Office” (U.S.) (NBC) — 1.11%
  9. “Naruto Shippuden” (TV Tokyo) — 1.04%
  10. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 0.98%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended April 11 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Them” (Amazon Prime Video) — 99.8%
  2. “Tokyo Revengers” (MBS) — 97.9%
  3. “Family Reunion” (Netflix) — 95.5%
  4. “Hippocrate” (Canal+) — 92.7%
  5. “Heaven Official’s Blessing” (Bilibili) — 92.7%
  6. “Ex on the Beach Brazil” (MTV Brazil) — 89.4%
  7. “How Not to Summon a Demon Lord” (AT-X) — 87.1%
  8. “LOL: Last One Laughing” (IT) (Amazon Prime Video) — 78.6%
  9. “The Serpent” (BBC One/Netflix) — 78.5%
  10. “Vivy-Flourite Eye’s Song” (Tokyo MX) — 76.8%

Amazon’s Oscar-Nominated Doc ‘Time’ Streaming Free for a Week

The Oscar-nominated Amazon Original documentary Time is streaming for free to audiences globally without needing a Prime subscription.

Starting April 12, the film will be available in front of the Prime Video paywall as well as streaming on YouTube for one week.

Time, from filmmaker Garrett Bradley, will also return to theaters starting April 16 in New York at the Village East, Los Angeles at The Landmark and San Francisco at the Embarcadero.

If Time wins, it would mark the first time ever a Black female director would win an Academy Award for Best Documentary.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The documentary follows entrepreneur, abolitionist and mother of six boys Fox Rich, who has spent the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is serving a 60-year sentence for a robbery they both committed in the early ’90s in a moment of desperation. Combining the video diaries Fox has recorded for Rob over the years with intimate glimpses of her present-day life, Bradley paints a portrait of the resilience and radical love necessary to prevail over the endless separations of the country’s prison-industrial complex.

Time cross-cuts footage from the past and present, framing it with a voiceover from Fox and her sons to provide a uniquely intimate perspective into the long-term costs of incarceration: the children who grow up without fathers, and the mothers who are forced to become caregivers and legal experts all at once.

‘Hemingway’ Coming to PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel April 5

Hemingway, a documentary from filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick chronicling the life of literary icon Ernest Hemingway, will be available to stream on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel on April 5.

The channel will also be streaming a 4K Ultra High-Definition version of the program beginning April 11. The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

The title will come out on Blu-ray and DVD May 4.

The three-part, six-hour film examines the life and work of Hemingway, one of the most influential writers America has ever produced. Narrated by long-time collaborator Peter Coyote, the series features an all-star cast of actors bringing Hemingway (voiced by Jeff Daniels), his friends and family to life. Through letters to and from his four wives — voiced by Meryl Streep, Keri Russell, Mary-Louise Parker and Patricia Clarkson — the film reveals Hemingway at his most romantic and his most vulnerable, grappling at times with insecurity, anxiety and existential loneliness.

Burns and Novick paint a picture of Hemingway, who captured on paper the complexities of the human condition in profound prose, and whose work remains deeply influential around the world. Informed by interviews with celebrated writers, scholars and Hemingway’s son Patrick, the filmmakers explore the painstaking process through which Hemingway created some of the most notable works of fiction, in novels such as The Sun Also RisesA Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea; short stories “Hills Like White Elephants,” “The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” “Up in Michigan,” “Indian Camp” and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro;” as well as the nonfiction works Death in the Afternoon and A Moveable Feast.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

His relationships with women — his mother, sisters, wives and the World War I nurse who broke his heart — profoundly affected his work. Yet for all his bravado and hyper-masculine posturing, Hemingway wrote about relationships between men and women with sensitivity, nuance and clarity.

The filmmakers were granted unusually open access to the treasure trove of Hemingway’s manuscripts, correspondence, scrapbooks and photographs housed at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. The film also explores Hemingway’s limitations and biases as an artist and a man of his time.

Merchandising: Plenty of Exclusives for ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

Widely released ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Blu-ray and 4K box art

Superhero movie fans looking for exclusive home video editions of Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984 had their wish granted upon its March 30 release on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Not only did each of the major national retail chains have an exclusive version, but Amazon did as well.

Amazon’s two-film “Wonder Woman” 4K double feature

In this case, Amazon offered a two-pack of Wonder Woman 1984 and its predecessor, 2017’s Wonder Woman, as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray for $44.99. The set includes 4K versions and digital copies of both films, but not regular Blu-ray versions. The standard Blu-ray version of the two-pack was a wide release.

Best Buy, as is typical for the chain, presented a Steelbook edition of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack of Wonder Woman 1984, for $34.99.

Walmart’s single-disc ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ DVD

Walmart likewise stuck with its typical pattern, and as it often does with major Warner Bros. releases, stocked an exclusive vanilla DVD edition without the bonus disc but with unique box art.

Widely released ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ DVD box art

The widely released DVD includes a bonus disc touting 90 minutes of special features, including extensive making-of featurettes, and is offered at $17.99 at Target and Best Buy, and $17.96 at Amazon and Walmart’s online store.

Walmart’s physical stores stocked just the vanilla version, offered at $16.96 and containing just one extra, a “Scene Study: The Mall” featurette.

Walmart also offered an exclusive DVD two-pack of both “Wonder Woman” movies for $22.96.

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Blu-ray combo pack with Target-exclusive box art

Target went with a simpler route and just offered unique box art with the Wonder Woman 1984 Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack, for $24.99.

Rounding out the array of “Wonder Woman” releases, the Warner Archives Wonder Woman 1984 3D Blu-ray combo pack was priced at $29.88 on Amazon,com, $27.99 at BestBuy.com, and $34.99 at Walmart.com.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Best Buy offered an additional exclusive this week, a two-film “Mortal Kombat” Blu-ray Steelbook collection for $14.99.

Best Buy’s “Mortal Kombat” 2-Movie Blu-ray Steelbook