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Recode Daily: Amazon has reportedly been falling behind on its plans to go green while it courts big oil

Plus: Millions of Netflix users aren’t paying, a private equity firm acquires Gizmodo Media Group, and Pinterest sets its IPO range below its initial filing.

An Amazon warehouse and fulfillment facility.
An Amazon facility in England.
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Shirin Ghaffary is a senior Vox correspondent covering the social media industry. Previously, Ghaffary worked at BuzzFeed News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and TechCrunch.

Amazon has reportedly been slowing down its efforts to use renewable energy as it has sought out clients in big oil. Five years ago, Amazon followed Apple, Facebook, and Google’s lead in pledging to power its massive AWS data center business with 100 percent renewable energy. But since 2018, the company has “plateaued” at about 50 percent renewable energy power for that segment of the business, while its peers have made significantly more progress. At the same time, the company aggressively sought out clients in the oil and gas industry such as BP, Shell, and Halliburton, according to reporting from Gizmodo. The same day Gizmodo’s report came out, Amazon also announced three new wind-generated energy projects to support their AWS energy efforts, but did not provide an update or projection as to how that would change their overall progress toward the 100 percent sustainable energy goal.
[Brian Merchant / Gizmodo Media Group]

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Millions of Netflix users are using someone else’s password, but that’s not bad for Netflix. A new survey from analysts at MoffettNathanson found that 14 percent of US Netflix users are technically using Netflix without paying for it. These people are using the streaming service by sharing the password of someone who doesn’t live in their household. As Peter Kafka and Rani Molla write, the company could “view this as a half-empty/half-full situation” since “Netflix non-payers currently represent some 8 million users who could eventually be persuaded to pay for Triple Frontier and other Netflix content.”
[Peter Kafka and Rani Molla / Recode]

Private equity firm Great Hill Partners acquired Gizmodo Media Group, which includes publications such as Gizmodo, The Onion, and Deadspin. The sale was for an undisclosed amount “much less” than the $135 million Univision paid to purchase most of the company’s properties in 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal. James Spanfeller, the former CEO of, will be the CEO of G/O Media Inc., a new company created from the assets. Spanfeller’s reported plans are to increase targeted advertising sales and to develop e-commerce and paid content. It remains to be seen what changes, if any, will be made to the media network’s unionized editorial staff.
[Benjamin Mullin / The Wall Street Journal]

Pinterest set its IPO range at $15-$17, pricing it around $2 billion lower than its previous $12.3 billion valuation. The social media platform updated its S-1 since its initial IPO filing two weeks ago. As TechCrunch writes, the new numbers paint a “a tough (or, you might argue, conservative) picture,” for the valuation. According to the original S-1, the company had revenue of $755.9 million in 2018, up from $472.8 million in 2017, while lowering its net loss in that time to about $62 million from $130 million the year before. Pinterest is one of several major tech startups set to IPO this year, including Lyft, Slack, and Uber.
[Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch]

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