Amazon: Video Game Revenue Down, Physical Book Sales Up

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Amazon CFO Tom Szkutak offered more details this afternoon during an analyst earnings call about the company’s disappointing fourth quarter

When it comes to physical media, Szkutak said the biggest hit to revenue came in the area of video game sales, which includes both console and game sales (but not games sold digitally, say from Amazon’s app store). Even though he didn’t offer specific numbers on that front, he noted that video games sales are seasonal and normally take a big leap in the last quarter of the year — and that happened this year, but it wasn’t enough to match 2010 revenue. In part, that’s because more of those sales are going to Amazon’s third-party sellers, rather than Amazon itself. So video game sales, as measured in units, were up, while revenue was down.

As far as the Kindle goes, Szkutak would only repeat Amazon’s previous statement that Kindle sales (including the Kindle Fire tablet) grew 177 percent compared to the same period last year. When asked if the Fire might be cannibalizing sales of  Kindle e-readers, Szkutak said, “Both devices, meaning the readers and Fire, did very well.” And if you’re curious about Amazon’s original staple, physical books, those sales saw double digital growth too. As Szkutak noted, that’s “impressive given the shift to Kindle.”

Meanwhile, digital content sales were up across-the-board, he said.