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July 16, 2018, 11:47 a.m.
Audience & Social

Amazon Prime Day is the bad-news-free news event we’ve been waiting for this summer

A day where clicking to refresh is fun, not panic-inducing.

Amazon Prime Day. A day where clicking to refresh is fun, not panic-inducing. Where the only surprises are good ones. Where 3 p.m. marks not a one-hour warning until market close and news dumps, but JUST THE BEGINNING OF 36 HOURS OF AMAZING BARGAINS. It’s July 16 and instead of staring at The New York Times’ jittery election needle I’m staring at the Times-owned Wirecutter’s constantly updating Prime Day deals page.

Outside, the Trump-Putin meeting continues and children remain separated from their parents and the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings are still coming. And European Amazon workers are striking, but inside I am ordering a budget portable hammock and ecologically sound beach toys and a Crayola 60th Anniversary 64 Count Crayon Set with Collectible Tin and Vitamin C serum and a berry keeper and a tiny car vacuum and who even knows what the rest of the day will bring, but in a good way? At home, the yogurt I made overnight in the Instant Pot I bought on Prime Day last year is cooling in the fridge. On Prime Day 2016, I sat at my kitchen table 39 weeks pregnant refreshing the deals and waiting to go into labor; my son turns two this week and I’m buying him birthday presents today. Things have been scary and terrible and uncertain but here we are on our fourth-annual Prime Day and there’s some continuity in that, at least.

And news editors the country over (including at Nieman Lab) are just pleased to have an okay story to cover. No failure, no broken business model, no corruption, nothing really needs fixing here, no explainer required, just grab some links, obligatory nod to Wirecutter, and watch the traffic — and affiliate revenue — flow in. Prime Day has become a big traffic day for some publishers, NewsWhip shows for Facebook “engagements.”

Here are all the best Amazon Prime Day deals you can get right now

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All the best deals from Amazon Prime Day 2018 … will be right here

25 ofertas del Prime Day de Amazon que no vas a querer dejar escapar

My search for the spirit of Prime Day at an Ariana Grande concert in a giant Amazon box

Amazon’s Prime Day is set to be $1.2 billion bigger than last year, analyst says (AMZN)

It’s also a multi-day content affair that keeps on giving (ideas for #content throughout the week). NewsWhip notes that “Lists of User Generated Content also performed well, with lists of top tweets about the day performing well for a number of different outlets.”

“There is no retailer who wields this kind of focus in the typically sleepy summer months,” Lance Ulanoff wrote on Medium. “It’s like Amazon saw a dead space where other retailers were trying to excite you about Back to School deals (which, honestly, no one really wants to think about in July) and said, we can go bigger, broader, and do much better.” But this year it feels like more than that. It feels like the one national story that everyone can get in on (30-day free trial), that everyone can follow, and on July 18, when Amazon announces what will inevitably be the record-breaking sales of July 16 and July 17, we’ll be able to be like, ahhh, we made that happen.

Laura Hazard Owen is the editor of Nieman Lab. You can reach her via email ( or Twitter DM (@laurahazardowen).
POSTED     July 16, 2018, 11:47 a.m.
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