Amazon Enters The Contest With YouTube

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According to several analysts, the e-commerce giant has the ability to efficiently contest in any business.

On Tuesday, the world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon.com, Inc. launched a service similar to YouTube which let the users to upload videos and earn royalties from them. This will mark the leading e-commerce giant to contest with Alphabet Inc.’s most popular YouTube.

Dubbed as Amazon Video Direct, the new service will offer the uploaded videos on rent or to buy in order to enable an ad free view; or the uploaded videos can be packaged together in order to be offered as an add-on subscription.

Company’s highly popular Prime loyalty program has been following the same pattern. The service offers original TV programming along with the accessibility to Prime Video and Prime Music and like digital entertainment products. For an annual fee of $99, it also offers one-hour delivery of purchases.

The most popular video streaming application, YouTube presents ad-supported, free service along with a subscription option against a nominal fee of $10 dubbed as YouTube Red.

Nevertheless, Amazon will require a lot of time to get closer to YouTube who has been ruling the internet for a long time since 2005.

According to Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities said that in his opinion, it is highly unlikely that just 50 million user base of Amazon Prime will have significant blow on the colossal 2 billion user base of YouTube.

One of the analysts at Tigress Financial Partners, Ivan Feinseith opined that although he’s a bit cautious regarding the new business line of the company however according to his beliefs and knowledge the online retailer has the adequate financial resources and technological means to contest with any business.

He added, “I don’t know if it’s going to totally disrupt YouTube or even some of the other services, but for those that are heavy Amazon users, it will have an appeal.”

Through the new service, Amazon’s service consumers can make their videos available in Austria, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and United States.

For the service, Amazon has signed off partnership with several companies including, but not limited to, tech blog Mashable, toymaker Mattel Inc., the Guardian, and Conde Nast Entertainment. This endorses the company’s firm push into video.

On Tuesday, Carlos Kirjner, an analyst at Bernstein stipulated in a client note that this year on video content, tentatively e-commerce giant will spend close to $2.9 billion for Amazon Prime.

Recently, $335 billion company released its video program on a monthly subscription for $10.99. It is now looking forward to present standalone video streaming service against a monthly fee of $8.99.

Since it’s outperformed earnings, Amazon’s stock has had quite modest growth. The stock also helped pushing the S&P 500 to its best day in two months. At the market which closed on Tuesday, Amazon.com, Inc.’s stock went up 3.43% and stood at a price of $703.07. it.

 

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Amazon Beat Analyst Expectations

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The e commerce company marked fourth straight quarter of profits and sent its shares soaring

On Thursday, Amazon.com, Inc. posted its quarterly earnings and impressed the analysts and investors with its boastful earnings. The result sent the shares soaring during the after-hour trading. The company also demonstrated the bolstering market power of its core business of retail and newly operating cloud services division.

In January, when the world’s biggest online retailer posted its disappointing results it sent both the analysts and the investors into the vortex of skepticism and uncertainty. All the concerned people worried about the company’s thin profit margins. But, after the announcement of the impressive results, the e-commerce firm’s share sprang 13% and reached at $679 during after-hours trading.

Since last week, the tech and internet companies have been posting disappointing results and after Facebook, Amazon.com, Inc. revived the market with their strong reports. Additionally, the company has provided bolstering outlook for the current quarter and is expecting to generate revenue of $28 billion to $30.5 billion while the analysts had expected the company to have revenue of $28.33 billion in the current quarter.

Company’s cloud computing segment, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was the biggest highlight of the evening. The division revenues had incredible jump of 64% and rested at $2.56 billion while the operating income tripled to $604 million.

AWS was launched by the company almost a decade ago and since it has been delivering more profits to the company than its’ core retail business. According to several research firms, the division has over 30% of the fast-growing cloud-computing market and it is a long way ahead of its rivals including Google and Microsoft.

The company cited that the subscribers for its Prime loyalty program has been growing strongly which presents original TV programming, gives access to its digital entertainment products like Prime Video and Prime Music, and offers one-hour delivery. The loyal program is offered at $99 annually.

The $279 billion organization expressed that it looks forward to boost spending to attract the customers of Prime through video content. This strategically has been built on the premise of the success of the Golden Globe winning awards programs –Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle.

Relating to the matter, the Chief Executive Officer, Brian Olsavsky said the following during the conference call with the investors, “We feel that program is working. We’re going to significantly increase our spend in that area.”

In line with the proposed plan, the company has recently launched $10.99 monthly subscription to the program. It has also expressed that it plans to come up with a standalone video streaming against the monthly fee of $8.99.

Although the company has not provided segregated number of the subscribers of Prime but according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, the program has close to 54 million members in the U.S. A senior analyst at Forrester Research, Frank Gillett opined that the revenue side of the company is endorsing that the Amazon Prime relationship model is working.

On Thursday, the company expressed that it will carry on its logistic operations. Amazon uses its own planes and trucks to enhance the carriers –such as FedEx and UPS –services and offer same day service.

For the first quarter, the company reported net income of $513 million –or an EPS of $1.07. This marks the fourth consecutive profit generating quarter for the company who earlier been facing cash flow problems. According to Thomson Reuters, earlier, the investors expected an EPS of $0.58 on revenue of $27.98 billion.

Amazon Plans To Open 300 to 400 Brick and Mortar Bookstores All Across The U.S.

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According to a report by the WJS, the retailer is planning on opening bookstores all across the country; however this news has not yet been confirmed by the company itself, as yet.

Amazon.com launched its first brick and mortar retail physical bookstore last year; and now it plans to dip deeper into that business and plans to open as many as 400 bookstores all across the United States, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The first bookstore was opened back in November 2015 in the retail giant’s hometown, Seattle.

This news was disclosed by the chief executive of mall operator General Growth Properties Inc., Sandeep Mathrani on Tuesday on an earnings call. Mr. Mathrani stated that the retail giant’s plan is to open at least 300 to 400 brick and mortar bookstores, according to his understand; however spokesperson for General Growth Properties as well as Amazon declined to comment on this news.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the executive could have had a talk with the retailer’s real-estate executives who might have disclosed the company’s plans as currently it is still unclear where he got this news from. If the online shopping company decides to go ahead with this plan of opening hundreds of bookstore outlet, there are a number of things it will need to take into consideration.

For starters, Amazon will need to pick specific locations (which would take years for it to decide), then it will need to hire staff for these physical locations, consider leasing deals. Despite the fact that it might become a hassle for the company itself; for the customers it will be a chance to leaf through the books before purchasing them.

The store that the organization initially opened back in November is situated in an outdoor mall where it sells Kindle, Fire devices as well as books. The company stated that it stores over 5,000 books in store while has over millions on its website. The price tag on these books and devices is same as on the website of the company. Additionally, it provides its books at a discounted price in comparison to its competitors.

Speaking of competitors, if Amazon decides to enter this market then it will have to go up against Barnes & Noble Inc. along with Books-A-Million Inc. Presently, Barnes and Noble Inc. operates over 640 stores while Books-A-Million is in 255 locations.

In addition to that, it has started one-hour deliveries in over 20 cities. They have representatives present in different universities in the United States where the students can pick and drop off merchandise and also converse with the representatives. It has revenue of over $107 billion annually; and it has built a strong online presence – furthermore it plans to expand as it has recently announced that its main focus will be on innovation and creativity.

Amazon stock is being traded at a share price of $525.89 indicating a decline of 3.01% from its previous share price. The market capitalization of the retail giant is $262.60 billion and it initially reported earnings per share of $1.24 with a price to earnings ratio of $432.12. During the trading session, the highest point at which the share price was seen at was $556.00 while the lowest point was at $533.19.

Amazon Working On European Expansion Plans

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The retail giant is going towards the European continent in full swing.

On January 22, Amazon.com announced that it will be expanding its operations in the European region by creating more jobs this year. Previously, it had already created as many as 40,000 jobs out of which 10,000 were just added last year. Since 2010, the e-commerce giant has invested as much as $15 billion in the EU region.

The European region has proved to be quite lucrative mainly because during the holiday season many new subscribers joined Amazon Prime and online sales are on the roll too. According to the press release by the company, it will be turning its investment towards research and development in the continent. Additionally, service offering as well as the infrastructure for operations will also be improved in Europe.

The consumer demand for Amazon services and products has increased which has further provided a profitable business opportunity in the market; with the help of this the Amazon will be able to expand its workforce along with the network. Xavier Garambois, the European Union Retail Vice President said in the press release that last year, the retailer created over 10,000 jobs and wants to create thousands more in 2016 at all levels starting from scientists to digital media experts including customer service associates.

The European market headquarter has been constructed in London six months ago and during the year; it plans to add 2,500 employees in London and all across the continent. Apart from that, the online shopping company also launched its Amazon Pantry Service back in November 2015 in which it offered over 200 non-perishable grocery items. It is believed that for the year, the company will likely work on expanding its Pantry Service in the continent through grocery and food delivery services via Amazon Prime Now and Fresh.

Furthermore, Amazon Web Service is also likely to boost its services in the region. A year over year growth of 80% was seen in the division. It will be building its latest data center in the UK which will be the company’s third data center in the European region.

Presently, Amazon stock is being traded at a share price of $596.38 indicating an increase of 3.71%. It reported earnings per share of $0.69 with price to earnings ratio of $865.12. The current market capitalization stood at $269.55 billion.

 

Amazon To Set Up An AWS Hub In Montreal

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The retailer announced that it will be creating a hub in Montreal Canada for its cloud computing business.

For its cloud computing business, Amazon Web Service, the retail giant, Amazon has planned to set up another hub in Montreal, Canada in order to reach to the masses. This launch is likely to affect other cloud computing businesses in the area such as Microsoft’s Azure. Additionally, it plans on launching its web services business in other countries including India, China and the United Kingdom as well, in order to expand its AWS network.

To get ahead in the race, Microsoft Corporation has also announced that it will be introducing its cloud computing services in a number of places as well including Quebec and Toronto, Canada. However these data centers will become active later during the current year. By introducing these services in the country it will allows customers including individual customers as well as large organizations to save their data on the cloud, all across Canada.

Presently, AWS data centers are available in over 17 regions worldwide that are expected to go live in 2016 and is available in over 42 zones while Microsoft’s Azure is present in 22 geographical region and is likely to add 5 more regions to the count.

This expansion spree might give the e-commerce giant a competitive advantage over its rivals in the cloud services as currently it is the most accessible service worldwide, with the right amount of security compliance. The Amazon Web Service is considered as the market leader in the industry and has also managed to generate a lot gains for the online shopping company. In the near future, it is bound to become the most profitable unit of Amazon; a 78% year over year growth was witnessed in the cloud services distributed by the organization to almost $2 billion.

In other news, as per the reports by Bloomberg, Amazon did not report over 26 work related injuries in New Jersey and has been subjected to government fines due to that. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – OSHA, the retailer needs to get its priorities straight as currently dispatching its products on time has become more important for the company than its employee’s health. It added that in an attempt to provide faster deliveries to its customers, the employees of the organization have started to pay the cost.

A fine of $7000 has to be paid by Amazon along with changing its warehouse practices; these practices should now be revolved around an employee’ safety and well-being. According to the investigation done by the Safety authorities, the employees were not given proper protective gears in these warehouses. This is not the first time the organization’s workplace ethics have been questioned.