Amazon's Teeny Tiny Digital Sales: Just How Small Are They?

How are Amazon’s efforts to sell digital movies, books and music coming along? Who knows. Amazon (AMZN) offers zero info about its belated attempts to go digital and take on Apple (AAPL), leaving the likes of us to engage in a spirited series of guesses.

For some reason, the WSJ ($) thinks they’ll spill their guts during today’s earnings call, but we’re not holding our breath on that one. One useful nugget from the story, though: A guesstimate from Deutsche Bank’s Jeetil Patel, who figures the company has invested $300 million in digital products over the past three years, while selling… $100 million.

How insignificant is that number? Very: Amazon did about $14.8 billion in the last 12 months. But let’s put it in further context, by pretending that all of those sales came from a single product:

  • $100 million in music would equal about 112 million 89-cent songs. Apple sold about 2 billion 99-cent songs last year.
  • $100 million in Kindle sales would equal about 250,000 e-reader units: Or about 2.5% the number of iPods Apple likely sold last quarter.
  • $100 million in Unbox movie sales would equal about 6.7 million movies sold, or about the same number of movies Apple says it had sold from September 2006 through early January 2008 (7 million). It would also equal about 25 million Unbox movie rentals, about how many DVDs Netflix (NFLX) ships every two weeks.

See Also:
Short Amazon Into Wednesdays Earnings Call–AmTech
Amazon Reboots Kindle Sales, Blows Up Ebay Aftermarket
Amazon Music Sales: Growing? Tiny? Both?

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