Jason Del Rey

Recent Posts by Jason Del Rey

How Big Is Amazon’s Kindle Business? Morgan Stanley Takes a Crack at It.

We’ve already learned not to expect Amazon to divulge Kindle sales numbers, but Morgan Stanley Research is taking a crack at estimating it for us.


In a report released last week, Morgan Stanley said it estimates that Amazon will sell $4.5 billion worth of Kindle e-readers and tablets this year, up 26 percent from 2012.

Growth will slow next year, when the business will do $5 billion in sales, Morgan Stanley estimates, followed by similarly modest growth in 2015, when Amazon will do an estimated $5.5 billion in Kindle sales.

Amazon has recently slashed the price of its seven-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet. It’s not clear whether the cut was in response to underwhelming shipment numbers in the second quarter, was a natural move ahead of expected new product launches, or some combination of the two.

Of course, Amazon is willing to lose money on Kindle device sales to spur demand for its digital content business — the selling of digital books, movies, games and other content — where it makes real money.

Morgan Stanley estimates that Amazon will do $3.8 billion in digital media revenue this year, and that the business will generate more revenue than device sales next year — with an estimated $5.7 billion in revenue.

In total, Morgan Stanley estimates that the Kindle ecosystem — which also includes advertising revenue of $192 million — will account for 11 percent of the company’s total revenue this year, but 23 percent of its operating profit.

Morgan Stanley says that company data and its own research were the report’s two sources.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald