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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 18, 2001

Amazon, Buena Vista reach deal to pitch films

Associated Press

SEATTLE — Amazon.com customers who ordered a book on military history may soon find an e-mail promoting the movie "Pearl Harbor" in their inboxes, as part of a marketing deal Amazon has reached with Buena Vista Pictures.

The Seattle-based Internet retailer was expected to announce the deal today.

It is the latest in a series of such deals that Amazon has reached with movie studios, in which Amazon uses its detailed information about its 28 million customers' spending habits to help movie studios reach certain demographic groups.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

In a sign that the company expects to see many more such marketing deals in the future, Amazon also was expected to announce today that it has added a new section to its Web site devoted to providing movie times and other information about new releases.

In addition to the "In Theaters" tab, the company will begin offering a free service that sends movie times, tailored by zip code, to customers if they choose it.

Amazon said it also will send out other recommendations and information about movies in mailings similar to the ones it sends on books, movies and other products the company sells.

Jason Kilar, vice president of books, music and video, said the company expects to pay for the new section through the marketing deals it is making with movie studios. Amazon has said it will not share customer information with movie studios in these marketing deals.

However, the fact that the company is using purchasing information to help other companies market products has alarmed some privacy experts.

The company has argued that such deals only provide an added customer service.