Amazon Earnings Fall as Revenue Rises

3:29 PM PST 04/25/2013 by Paul Bond

"Amazon Studios is working on a new way to greenlight TV shows," says CEO Jeff Bezos.

Shares of Amazon.com fell more than 4 percent in the after-hours session even as the giant online retailer reported quarterly earnings that were ahead of Wall Street's expectations.

Net income in the first quarter slid 37 percent to $82 million, which was expected given the company's focus on building its streaming-media business and other new initiatives.

Revenue increased 22 percent to $16.1 billion.

In the company's earnings release Thursday, CEO Jeff Bezos boasted about Amazon's decision to let viewers decide which of its pilot shows at Amazon Instant Video will get picked up.

"Amazon Studios is working on a new way to greenlight TV shows. The pilots are out in the open where everyone can have their say," Bezos said. "Our customers will determine what goes into full-season production."

So-called "Amazon Originals" are available, along with licensed content for streaming, for free to those who pay for Amazon Prime, a discount shipping service.

"We hope Amazon Originals can become yet another way for us to create value for Prime members," Bezos said Thursday.

During the first quarter, Amazon announced new licensing agreements for streaming content from A&E Networks, CBS, FX, PBS and Scripps Networks Interactive for such shows as Downton Abbey, Justified and Under the Dome. Amazon Studios during the quarter debuted 14 original shows.

Shares of Amazon rose $5.92 to $274.70 on Thursday but were sinking as much as $10 after the closing bell.

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