business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  The Seattle Times reports that "Amazon is parking its Treasure Truck, a fleet of roving vans that offer constantly changing daily discounts on items ranging from steaks to paddleboards."

The story says that "Amazon started driving its Treasure Truck around Seattle for a 2015 pilot program before expanding to other cities in 2017. Customers could use Amazon’s smartphone app to sign up for texts describing each day’s deal and, if interested, make a quick purchase. Through its tenure, the program advertised offers like 64% off GoPro cameras and nearly $400 off paddleboards."

Amazon "circulated a message Tuesday alerting customers the promotion would no longer be available by Wednesday. That day’s deal — a $19.99 Schitt’s Creek-themed party game — would be the last."

“Treasure Truck was a unique way to bring customers exciting deals directly to their neighborhood,” Amazon spokesperson Betsy Harden said. “In 2020, we moved those deals online and the feedback from customers was great. We’ll continue to offer customers new deals every day on”

•  Axios reports that "Amazon Prime members can now listen to 100 million songs and an assortment of podcasts without paying more as part of a benefit upgrade announced Tuesday … The expanded Amazon Music benefit, a massive increase from 2 million shuffle-free songs, comes after Walmart added Paramount+ and Spotify Premium to its Walmart+ subscription … With the change that is now in effect, Amazon said Prime members 'can shuffle play any artist, album or playlist' and have on-demand access to top podcasts without ads."

The story notes that Amazon continues to add value to Prime memberships as a way of driving sales.  Its "push into sports streaming with NFL Thursday Night Football and original content with 'Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power' drove record levels of Prime membership signups, the retail giant's CFO Brian Olsavsky said on the company's earnings call."

•  The Athletic  reports that "Overtime Elite, the company that has earned intrigue by launching a basketball league from scratch last year and shocking the sport’s ecosystem by signing and paying highly ranked high school players, has signed a media rights deal with Amazon Prime. The streaming network will air 20 OTE games in each of the next three seasons. Here’s what you need to know:

"The contract, the first media rights deal for the league, furthers Amazon’s dip into live sports.

"This deal will give a large platform for Overtime Elite, where viewers can watch two potential top-10 NBA draft picks and other young, promising players.

"Amazon has invested in Overtime for the company’s Series D funding round.  Amazon will also air an Overtime season-long unscripted series in the middle of next year."