Amazon is continuing its slow international expansion. The online retailer launched a version of the site in Spain, offering a variety of books, DVDs and electronic gadgets. The Amazon Kindle is not offered yet, it's available through the main Amazon.com site, but there is an Amazon Premium program, for fast shipping, available.Spain becomes the ninth country where the retailer is present. Spain is part of Amazon's new international push that started with Italy last year.
Amazon.es is now live and is offering a selection of some 2.5 million books, 450,000 CDs, 130,000 DVDs, 65,000 electronic gadgets.
Amazon expanded into several new countries in the early 2000's, but didn't venture forth again until last year.
The launch also introduces the Amazon Premium program, the local version of Amazon Prime. It offers two to three day free shipping for a fixed annual fee.
Amazon Premium is €14.95 in Spain, about $20.50, per year. For comparison, Amazon Prime is $79 per year in the US. The same program costs €49, or $67 in France, €29, or $39.80, in Germany and as little as €9.99, or $13.70, in Italy.
The difference in price may be attributed to the cost of shipping in each country, the US is significantly larger than Italy, for example.
Apart from free shipping, Prime subscribers also get access to movie and TV show streaming in the US, for free. Amazon is said to be launching a brand new book rental service, also included in the Prime subscription.
The Kindle is not available locally in Spain, but there are rumors that the device and the ebook store are coming by the end of the year. That should be in time for it to receive the upcoming Kindle tablet, though it remains to be seen if Amazon launches the device anywhere else than the US this year.