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Report: Amazon’s Twitch Not Meeting Ad Revenue Expectations

France

Topline: While Amazon’s Twitch dominates the live-streaming landscape, a new report from The Information citing people familiar with company financials says it only translated into a modest $230 million in ad revenue for 2018 and a midyear annual projection of $300 million for 2019.

  • According to the report, Twitch was hoping to see ad revenues between $500 million-$600 million in 2019, with the service eventually hitting $1 billion.
  • Partnered streamers on Twitch share revenue from commercials, with the option of running ads at will with the push of a button during streams, but the majority of earnings for top streamers comes from premium subscription revenue that’s shared with Twitch.
  • The same is reportedly true for Twitch, which is now making more off “commerce” like subscriptions; along with its ad revenue, the company is hoping to hit $1 billion in 2020.
  • However, given the top streamers generally get the majority cut from subscriptions, Twitch sees a better profit margin on ads, according to The Information.
  • YouTube, in comparison, is thought to bring in billions off ad revenue alone, and according to Laura Martin, an analyst at Needham & Company, the service as a stand-alone business could be worth up to $300 billion after Google acquired it in 2006 for $1.65 billion.
  • Part of Twitch’s strategy is expanding beyond its gaming roots, with its variety “Just Chatting” category rising 42% to 651 million in total hours watched in 2019, ranking behind only League of Legends and Fortnite, according to analyst firm StreamElements.
  • Twitch remains far away the leader in streaming with 73% of the market share, according to StreamElements, but it’s being chipped away by YouTube (21%), Mixer (3%) and Facebook (3%), all of which have signed major streamers away from Twitch.

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Key Background: Top gamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins set off a bidding war late last summer when he signed an exclusive streaming deal with Microsoft’s Twitch competitor, Mixer. Facebook, YouTube and startup Caffeine have since signed exclusive streaming deals with former Twitch stars. The moves have just slightly ate at Twitch’s substantial lead in the market, but the long-term impact could be substantial. Regardless, YouTube has a distinct advantage over all other streaming platforms.

No matter the content creator, after they’ve finished streaming for hours on end, they’ll generally make 10-20 minute highlight videos to upload to YouTube.

Big Number: $970 million. That’s what Amazon paid for Twitch in 2014.

Further Reading: Take a look at the major streamer acquisitions that took place late last year.

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I’m the reporter for the Games section of Forbes.com. I previously served as a freelance writer for sites like IGN, Polygon, Red Bull eSports, Kill Screen, Playboy and PC Gamer. I also manage a YouTube gaming channel under the name strummerdood. I graduated with a BA in journalism from Rowan University and interned at Philadelphia Magazine. You can follow me on Twitter @mattryanperez.

Source: Report: Amazon’s Twitch Not Meeting Ad Revenue Expectations

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Is This The Beginning Of Amazon’s Meltdown?

Dystopia

When Amazon’s executives heard the news, they couldn’t believe it.

Last November, the world’s largest sporting goods company, Nike, announced it was leaving Amazon. It would yank all its products from Amazon.com and sell them exclusively on its online store.

Nike is the biggest retailer to break up with Amazon, but it’s not the first. From mom-and-pop stores to retail giants, more than one million businesses are ditching Amazon and selling online independently.

As I’ll explain in a moment, this is the beginning of the biggest disruption in retail since Amazon’s inception. And there’s one little-known stock driving it “behind the scenes.”

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The good news is this megatrend is still in the very early stages. It’s off the radar of many investors, which gives us a chance to cash in big time. But first, let me clue you in on what’s going on here.

For a Long Time, Retailers Depended on Amazon to Sell Online

As we all know, Amazon is king of online shopping. It runs the world’s biggest online store, which makes up more than half of online sales in the US.

What you may not know is that most of the stuff listed on Amazon.com are not products of Amazon. They come from other retailers known as “third-party sellers.” For a fee, Amazon has granted them permission to put their stuff on its “shelves.”

In 2007, only 26% of products sold on Amazon were from third-party sellers. Today, more than 53% of all Amazon products are from third-party sellers, according to Statista.

For a long time, Amazon has served as the online “storefront” for most retailers. But that’s quietly changing.

One Retailer After Another Is Leaving Amazon

Nike is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s a growing pack of retailers breaking ties with Amazon and launching their own online stores.

Take Birkenstock, one of the world’s most iconic footwear brands. In 2017, the company left Amazon altogether. It also issued a strict order to several thousand of its retail partners to pull all Birkenstock products from Amazon.

You also may be familiar with these brands:

  • Vans – one of America’s most iconic urban footwear and apparel companies
  • Ralph Lauren – another iconic American fashion lifestyle brand
  • Rolex… the biggest high-end watch company
  • Louis Vuitton, a French luxury fashion brand
  • Patagonia and North Face – some of the biggest outdoor clothing, footwear, and equipment brands

While you could find their products on Amazon listed by resellers—most of which are generic and dated models or knock-offs—none of these brands sell directly on Amazon.

These are just a few of many retail giants that ditched Amazon. There are a million more small retailers bypassing Amazon and selling stuff online independently.

Image result for amazon big size gif advertisementsAmazon Had the Upper Hand Against Retailers

Until very recently, the idea of a small or medium-size business competing with Amazon online was a joke. Because Amazon has it all.

In a few clicks, you can order stuff from thousands of retailers, and get it delivered to your doorstep the same day. For free! If you are short of cash, Amazon will give you credit. If you are not happy with your order, you take the package to the nearest UPS store and get a refund almost instantly.

To keep all this running smoothly, Amazon plows billions of dollars into its store. It operates more than 150 million square feet of warehouse space. Tens of thousands of its trucks and vans roam across the country. It even owns its own fleet of ocean freighters and cargo aircraft!

Who can match that? For years, going up against Amazon was suicide for a retailer. The only option for 99.99% of retailers was to partner with Amazon to sell their stuff on Amazon’s store.

Anyone Can Be Amazon Right Now

This may surprise you, but today any mom-and-pop store can run an online store as good as Amazon’s. Thanks to a new breed of tech companies, now you can easily farm out every step of the online store process—from shipping to returns and even one-day delivery.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • You can build an online store with Shopify (SHOP)
  • run guided advertising campaigns with Facebook or Instagram
  • handle payments with Stripe
  • give credit with Affirm
  • store your inventory and fulfill orders with ShipBob
  • Handle returns with Returnly
  • Even provide Amazon’s famous same-day delivery with DarkStore

All of them are charging either a small monthly fee or a little commission off sales. That means anyone with a couple hundred bucks can sell stuff online as effectively as Amazon.

A massive disruption is blowing in right before our very eyes. Just like the internet liberated retailers from brick-and-mortar stores, these companies are freeing them from Amazon’s clutches.

Shopify Is King of This Megatrend

If you’ve been reading me, you know that I recommended Shopify (SHOP) a month ago. Since then, it jumped 30%.

In short, Shopify helps you sell your products online on your own website. Just like Nike, Birkenstock, and other big-name retailers do.

For as little as $29/month, Shopify sets you up with a full-fledged custom online store. It can even hold your inventory in its warehouses and ship your products.

Since Shopify operates “behind the scenes,” you probably haven’t come across it when shopping online. But it’s already the world’s second-largest online shopping company.

It powers over 1,000,000 independent online stores. And get this, one in three Americans buy from a Shopify-powered store—without even realizing it.

Shopify Could Hand You a Double, but Be Careful

Since Shopify went public, it has been growing by leaps and bounds. In 2015, it had just 240,000 merchants, selling $7.7 billion worth of products through Shopify. Since then, it has grown into a million+ merchants grinding out 50+ billion in yearly sales.

As I said back in November, if Shopify keeps up this growth, I see it doubling by 2022. There’s one catch, though.

The stock has soared over 1,000% in just four years, and 30% more since I recommended it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the stock took a breather somewhere down the line. For this reason, I recommend keeping the position in this stock small enough that a double-digit drop wouldn’t hurt you.

Written with the assistance of Dainius Runkevičius.

Get my report “The Great Disruptors: 3 Breakthrough Stocks Set to Double Your Money”. These stocks will hand you 100% gains as they disrupt whole industries. Get your free copy here.

Check out my website.

I’m a professional investor and the chief analyst at RiskHedge, a disruption research firm. My team and I hunt for under-the-radar “disruptive” companies that are changing the world and making investors rich in the process. Get my latest analysis at RiskHedge.com.

Source: Is This The Beginning Of Amazon’s Meltdown?

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Amazon Isn’t Killing Brick-and-Mortar Retail. It’s Showing Other Retailers How to Do It

If you ask most people operating in the real estate market, they tell you that retail is at risk. The latest data shows commercial real estate retail deals are slumping, because Amazon is fundamentally changing the retail industry and pushing people online.

The facts, however, are decidedly different, as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Super Sunday, and now Cyber Monday reveal.

Over the weekend, Adobe released its findings on U.S. retail spending over the past few days. It showed a clear consumer desire for online shopping (Black Friday online sales reached a record $7.4 billion, for instance). The study also found that mobile purchases accounted for 39 percent of all e-commerce sales–a 21 percent jump compared with last year.

At first blush, that might seem like brick-and-mortar retailers suffered. In truth, they benefited from an increasingly important phenomenon in which people buy online but pick up their orders in stores.

According to Adobe’s data, so-called BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In Store) purchases were up a whopping 43.2 percent year over year. It was a clear “sign that retailers are successfully bridging online and offline retail operations,” Adobe said.

In other words, brick-and-mortar retailers have found a way to bolster their offline businesses. Target and Best Buy have been among the most successful at it. During its fiscal third quarter ended November 2, for instance, Best Buy reported revenue of $9.8 billion, beating Wall Street’s expectations. Its growth came from a mix of online and offline sales.

But perhaps nowhere is the evidence of Amazon not killing brick-and-mortar stronger than in a quick evaluation of Amazon itself.

While the company still generates the lion’s share of its retail business online, it’s increasingly focusing its efforts in brick-and-mortar.

In 2017, Amazon announced plans to buy Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. Now, two years later, Amazon is only expanding its investment in the company and ramping up its delivery options to make it a more attractive option for shoppers.

Meanwhile, ​the company’s cashierless stores, Amazon Go,are growing in number and size. Amazon is placing more of them across the U.S., with plans to dramatically expand their footprint over the next few years. The company is also planning to open bigger Amazon Go stores that could be the size of supermarkets.

Perhaps most important to competing retailers, Amazon has also signaled a willingness to license its cashierless technology to competitors.

All of that should be making retailers ask themselves a very important question: If Amazon is the company that’s destroying brick-and-mortar retail, why is it also the company moving so aggressively toward it?

The fact is, brick-and-mortar retail still offers plenty of value to consumers, especially in food products, grocery stores, and convenience and service locations that can’t be easily replaced by Amazon. Even in areas where Amazon could replace the retailer (think electronics), companies like Best Buy and Walmart, among others, are doing well.

There’s no debating the future of shopping will still be dominated by e-commerce, but predicting the demise of offline shopping is ludicrous. And judging by its latest moves, no one knows that better than Amazon.

By Don ReisingerTechnology and business writer

Source: Amazon Isn’t Killing Brick-and-Mortar Retail. It’s Showing Other Retailers How to Do It

1.27M subscribers
Every year, Amazon and other retailers end up with billions of pounds of excess, unsold inventory that they’re sending straight to landfills, or incinerating. Returns in the U.S. create more than 5 billion pounds of waste in landfills each year, and more than 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. The problem is only growing as Amazon leads the way in bringing more shoppers online, where the rate of returns is 25%, compared to just 9% for in-store purchases. Now, the e-commerce giant and other tech companies and retailers are increasing donation efforts and using data and A.I. to cut back on the wasted inventory clogging our landfills and our planet. » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic About CNBC: From ‘Wall Street’ to ‘Main Street’ to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: https://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC What Retailers Like Amazon Do With Unsold Inventory

Amazon Is Struggling To Hold On To The Pilots Who Ship Your Packages

Amazon’s promise of one-day shipping has led it to increasingly rely on its own air cargo division, Amazon Air. But as the number of shipments pushed through the cargo arm multiplies, the pilots who fly those packages continue to voice that they are overworked and underpaid.

The pilots don’t work for Amazon directly, but are employed by the contractors Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) and Atlas Air. More than 200 cargo pilots who fly for ABX Air, which is a division of ATSG, cast a vote of “no confidence” against management’s ability to resolve ongoing labor disputes, reported Reuters earlier this week. In total, all but one member of the pilot’s union voted “Yes” on a resolution that asked if they had “no confidence in management’s willingness to negotiate or reach an agreement for the benefit of all stakeholders to include the shareholders, the customers, and the employees.”

The pilot union, the Airline Professionals Association, has battled with the management of ATSG for five years to negotiate new work rules for its pilots. Issues involving how pilots are scheduled for their routes, salaries, and retirement still remain unresolved.

Those who fly for Atlas Air, another cargo operator used by Amazon, recently lost a three-year bid to secure a new work contract. Atlas pilots protested outside an airport in Cincinnati, Ohio for better workplace conditions in April. And in February, Atlas pilot crashed an Amazon Air flight, killing all three of its occupants, which some have suggested was linked to its staff being overworked.

Pilots at both airlines have complained about low morale, low pay, and poor workplace retention. Such troubles are brewing during a global pilot shortage, and many well-trained pilots who work for Atlas and ABX have simply left for better opportunities. A union survey earlier this year found that 60% of the pilots who work for the three airlines employed by Amazon (ABX Air, Atlas Air, and another called Southern Air) are looking for work elsewhere.

“We still have very experienced high quality pilots leaving for other carriers because they have better pay and better schedules,” Rick Ziebarth, an ABX Air pilot and executive council chairman of Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224, told Quartz. Ziebarth argued that as a result of well-trained pilots leaving, ABX is forced to hire people with far less experience who require more training. Quartz has reached out to Amazon for comment on the matter.

Worker grievances appear to have cropped up in every leg of Amazon’s supply chain. Amazon’s warehouse workers were found to suffer injuries at twice the national average of other warehouse workers, according to an investigation from Reveal. Delivery drivers for Amazon Flex, who are considered independent contractors by Amazon, work long hours with no chance of earning overtime or benefits.

ABX Air pilots won’t be able to strike until released from the US National Mediation Board (NMB), the federal agency which oversees aviation industry labor relations. Ziebarth said the board is still in the middle of holding negotiations with ATSG.

According to data from Flightpath Economics, a consulting firm, pilots who work for ABX Air and Atlas Air are amongst the lowest paid in the industry.

Company Pilot pay per hour
ATSG $152
Atlas $139
Fedex $243
UPS $288

As a whole, cargo pilots face tougher working conditions than their passenger pilot counterparts. Cargo pilots were left out of a 2014 law that required passenger pilots to get a minimum of 10 hours’ rest between flights. Aviation experts also say that lax safety standards and pilot fatigue has lead to a higher number of fatal crashes on cargo flights compared to passenger flights.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s air shipments are only likely to continue rising. FedEx in June announced it would no longer assist Amazon in its air delivery. That same month, Amazon announced it would roll out free one-day shipping for millions of new products. These combined factors have led to the e-commerce giant to rely on its own delivery services than ever before.

In July, Amazon Air flew 136 million pounds of goods across in the US, a 29% increase from the same period in 2018, and only 9 pounds less than the December 2018 holiday rush, according to data from ATSG and Atlas Air analyzed by Cargo Facts Consulting. And the growth simply won’t die down this holiday season, when Amazon expects to invest $1.5 billion into one-day shipping costs alone.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has said that his company will rely less on airplanes as it builds out its local warehouses. But for now, Amazon is continuing to grow its air cargo operations: it added 15 more planes to its fleet this year, and says it expects to have 70 planes by 2021. It is working on a $1.5 billion expansion of its Amazon Air Hub in Cincinnati—essentially an Amazon cargo airport—which is expected to finish in 2021.

When complete, the Air Hub will be able to handle 200 daily takeoffs and landings. It recently opened an Air Hub in Fort Worth, Texas.  It seems that as long as demand is high, the future of Amazon’s fast and free shipping will rely heavily on air freight.

By: Amrita Khalid

Source: Amazon is struggling to hold on to the pilots who ship your packages

1.22M subscribers
Amazon aims to compete with FedEx and UPS in the logistics and shipping industry. That’s what analysts told CNBC after Amazon Air recently expanded to 50 planes and announced it will open a $1.5 billion air hub in Northern Kentucky in 2021. Amazon is handling up to 26% of its own shipping, meaning FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service are losing a portion of Amazon’s business. FedEx says it’s not worried, but Morgan Stanley reports the major shippers have already lost 2% revenue to Amazon Air. » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC About CNBC: From ‘Wall Street’ to ‘Main Street’ to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Google+: http://cnb.cx/PlusCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC #Amazon #AmazonAir As Amazon Air Expands, FedEx And UPS May Suffer

Amazon Is Planning to Disrupt the Supermarket Business & It Won’t Need Cashiers to Do It

Amazon has disrupted plenty of industries over the past several years, but now it may be taking the fight to your local supermarket.

The tech giant is planning to expand its Amazon Go cashierless stores to more cities and with bigger footprints next year, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing sources who claim to have knowledge of its plans. Amazon will initially open stores between 2,000 and 10,000 square feet, or about the size of a convenience store or small market. But before long, the company plans to open 30,000-square-foot supermarkets with the same cashierless technology.

The first Amazon Go store opened in Seattle in 2016, and the company has been slowly expanding to other cities. The stores are stocked with products customers want, but don’t have any cashiers. Instead, customers walk into the store and scan their phones to alert the system that they’re there. They then choose the products they want and walk out. Amazon’s cameras, sensors, and other technologies identify what shoppers have selected and automatically charge their accounts.

Still, the existing stores are small, allowing Amazon to more easily track customers and ensure no one is walking out with free goods. According to the Bloomberg report, Amazon has now improved the technology to a degree that it believes Amazon Go could be applied to stores measuring 30,000 square feet, or about the same size as your local supermarket.

That’s undoubtedly bad news for a grocery store industry that’s dealing with pressure from all sides. A McKinsey study published last year found that while the global grocery industry is $5.7 billion and growing, grocery stores have been hit hard by higher costs and more competition for consumer dollars. Online shopping has also prompted many consumers to turn away from grocery stores, applying even more pressure on the companies.

But Amazon might be uniquely positioned to capitalize on that. The company has a massive online store, with enough reach (and cash) to attract shoppers and not worry about short-term losses.

Amazon Go stores have also been engineered to keep costs down. The technology they use is expensive, of course, but by not needing to keep its stores staffed with cashiers all day, Amazon can dramatically reduce costs. That puts even more pressure on competitors.

That said, Bloomberg also reported that Amazon could become a quasi-lifeline for the supermarkets and other retailers it plans to compete against. According to the report, the company is mulling the possibility of licensing its cashierless technology to other companies. In those cases, Amazon licensees can operate an Amazon Go store under their own brand and reduce their personnel costs.

For its part, Amazon has remained tightlipped on its plans. But Bloomberg’s sources say the company is serious about making a run at the supermarket industry. And if all goes well after testing larger stores in the first quarter, we can expect to see the first Amazon Go supermarkets pop up sometime in 2020.

By Don ReisingerTechnology and business writer

Source: Amazon Is Planning to Disrupt the Supermarket Business. And It Won’t Need Cashiers to Do It | Inc.com

764K subscribers
SupermarketGuru.com Editor Phil Lempert on reports Amazon is set to disrupt the supermarket industry with its own brick-and-mortar stores. FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. Headquartered in New York — the business capital of the world — FBN launched in October 2007 and is the leading business network on television, topping CNBC in Business Day viewers for the second consecutive year. The network is available in more than 80 million homes in all markets across the United States. Owned by FOX, FBN has bureaus in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and London. Subscribe to Fox Business! https://bit.ly/2D9Cdse Watch more Fox Business Video: https://video.foxbusiness.com Watch Fox Business Network Live: http://www.foxnewsgo.com/ Watch full episodes of FBN Primetime shows Lou Dobbs Tonight: https://video.foxbusiness.com/playlis… Trish Regan Primetime: https://video.foxbusiness.com/playlis… Kennedy: https://video.foxbusiness.com/playlis… Follow Fox Business on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoxBusiness Follow Fox Business on Twitter: https://twitter.com/foxbusiness Follow Fox Business on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foxbusiness

Jeff Bezos Is No Longer The Richest Person In The World After Amazon Stock Plunges

Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos lost his title as the richest man in the world during after-hours trading on Thursday, following a lackluster third-quarter earnings call from his ecommerce behemoth.

Amazon shares fell 7% in after-hours trading, knocking Bezos’ fortune down to $103.9 billion. That puts him at number two among the world’s richest. The new number one: Microsoft cofounder and fellow Washington state resident Bill Gates, who is worth $105.7 billion.

Bezos became the richest man in the world in 2018 and the first centibillionaire to ever appear on the The Forbes 400 that year with a net worth of $160 billion, ending Gates’ 24-year run as number one.

Today In: Billionaires

But the Amazon chief executive’s net worth drop isn’t entirely due to the decline in Amazon shares. Bezos transferred a quarter of his Amazon stake to his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos as part of their divorce settlement, which was finalized earlier this year. MacKenzie Bezos is worth $32.7 billion, and among the top twenty wealthiest people in the world.

On Thursday afternoon, Amazon reported a 26% drop in net income in its third quarter, its first profit decline since 2017.  In after-hours trading, Amazon dropped nearly 9% to $1,624 per share in the 20 minutes after the market closed. It has since rebounded slightly, hovering at $1,657 per share at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The company said it is investing heavily in logistics and delivery infrastructure, with the goal of making one-day shipping the norm for Amazon Prime members. The company disclosed during its second quarter earnings call in July that it had spent “a little bit” more than the estimated $800 million that it has previously said it would invest in one-day shipping infrastructure. The company declined to disclose how much it had spent on one-day shipping in the third quarter. But chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky did disclose Thursday that the company plans to spend $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter, presumably to finance the one-day shipping initiative.

Gates, meanwhile, has been out of Microsoft since 2014 when he stepped down as chairman of the storied company, though he remains a board member. He has sold or given away the majority of his Microsoft stake and diversified his wealth over time. He is now the co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private charitable foundation in the world.

Bill Gates debuted on Forbes’ first ever billionaire list in 1987 with a net worth of $1.25 billion. Bezos first joined The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans in 1998, one year after Amazon went public, with a net worth of $1.6 billion.

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Angel Au-Yeung has been a reporter on staff at Forbes Magazine since 2017. She covers the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs and tracks how they use their money and power.

 

Source: Jeff Bezos Is No Longer The Richest Person In The World After Amazon Stock Plunges

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A detailed look at the most expensive divorce in history where Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world is set to lose almost half of his net worth. Follow us! Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrLuxuryBrand Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MrLuxuryBrand Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MrLuxuryBrand Support the Channel! https://www.patreon.com/MrLuxury Why Jeff Bezos Will No Longer Be The Richest Person

MacKenzie Bezos Is Now Worth $36.1 Billion. But Who Is She?

MacKenzie Bezos was not fussy, which was helpful, as there was no time for fussiness at Amazon headquarters in early 1996. She shared her office with a junior employee in a space that doubled as the company kitchen. For 12 hours a day, as workers squeezed by to use the microwave, she presided over the accounting. At night she headed to the warehouse to pack orders.

She “was a huge contributor,” says Mike Hanlon, Amazon’s seventh employee. “She really is a talented person in a way that I think gets lost when you’re the billionaire’s wife.”

The mystery around MacKenzie, 49, seems carefully cultivated. She largely slipped into anonymity after Amazon’s early years and has granted no interviews since January, when her split from husband Jeff became public. The couple finalized their divorce in July, with MacKenzie getting 25% of his Amazon stock. That stake is currently worth $36.1 billion, enough to put her 15th on this year’s Forbes 400.

“She should have gotten 50% of the company,” says Nick Hanauer, one of Amazon’s first investors. “MacKenzie was an equal partner to Jeff in the early days.”

In keeping with character, MacKenzie wouldn’t talk for this story. To shed some light on her, we spent weeks contacting more than 100 friends and former classmates and coworkers; even that yielded only a hazy picture, one of an intensely private but talented woman who has, quietly, excelled at every stage of her life.

MacKenzie grew up in San Francisco, a middle child with two siblings. At 6, she wrote a 142-page book called The Book Worm. Her parents, a homemaker and a financial planner, sent her to Hotchkiss, the Connecticut boarding school, where she graduated a year early. She studied at Cambridge, then Princeton, where she majored in English; Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison was her thesis advisor. “She was generally a very poised and a quiet and brilliant presence,” says Jeff Nunokawa, one of her English professors.

After graduating, she took a job at the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, where she began dating Jeff Bezos, who left to found Amazon in 1994. From the outset, MacKenzie was heavily involved. “No one really had job titles . . . so she did just about everything,” says Tod Nelson, another early employee.

MacKenzie pulled back around the time Amazon went public, in 1997, to focus on fiction writing. She kept a low profile until 2005, when HarperCollins published her first novel, The Testing of Luther Albright. Morrison deemed it “a rarity.” MacKen­zie followed it in 2013 with Traps.

The more recent chapters of her life are largely unknown. In 2018 she and Jeff committed $2 billion to fight homelessness and support nonprofit preschools. In May, as their divorce neared completion, she signed the Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least half her wealth. True to form, she hasn’t said a word about where those billions will go.

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I’ve been a reporter at Forbes since 2016. Before that, I spent a year on the road—driving for Uber in Cleveland, volcano climbing in Guatemala, cattle farming in Uruguay, and lots of stuff in between. I graduated from Tufts University with a dual degree in international relations and Arabic. Feel free to reach out at nkirsch@forbes.com with any story ideas or tips, or follow me on Twitter @Noah_Kirsch.

Source: MacKenzie Bezos Is Now Worth $36.1 Billion. But Who Is She?

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A new book about Amazon.com and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, “The Everything Store,” is not receiving positive feedback from Bezos’ wife. John Blackstone reports.

Amazon Is The Second Company To Report Tesla Solar Panel Fire

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Topline: Amazon is joining Walmart in pointing the finger at Tesla solar panels for fires on the roofs of their facilities in what is yet another hiccup for Tesla’s embattled solar business.

  • Amazon said Tesla solar panels caught fire in June 2018 at one of its warehouses in Redlands, California.
  • Amazon’s disclosure comes days after Walmart sued Tesla for breach of contract and gross negligence after seven stores experienced roof fires allegedly caused by faulty Tesla solar panels. Both companies later said they are working together to “addressing all issues.”
  • Amazon said it would not install any more Tesla panels.

In a statement to Forbes, a Tesla spokesperson said in an email that the Amazon fire was an “isolated event” at one of 11 Amazon sites with solar panels.

“Tesla worked collaboratively with Amazon to root cause the event and remediate. We also performed inspections at the other sites, which confirmed the integrity of the systems. As with all of our commercial solar installations, we continue to proactively monitor the systems to ensure they operate safely and reliably,” the statement continues.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tesla did not respond when Forbes asked whether the company has plans for broader inspections of both commercial and residential solar power installations.

According to a Business Insider report, Tesla was aware of problems related to its solar panels. In the summer of 2018, around the same time as the Amazon fire, Tesla launched a secret internal project called Project Titan to replace what the company said were faulty “connectors” manufactured by Connecticut-based Amphenol, according to the report.

“We have no reason to believe that Amphenol’s products are the cause of any issues related to the claims filed by Walmart against Tesla,” an Amphenol spokesperson said in a statement.

Key Background: Tesla’s embattled solar business has been plagued by plunging sales, production delays and layoffs since CEO Elon Musk acquired solar company SolarCity for $2.6 billion in 2016.

Musk hasn’t tweeted about the Walmart or Amazon complaints, but instead announced a revamped pricing plan in an effort to boost the slowing solar panel business. The new pricing model allows residents in six states to rent solar power systems starting at $50 a month ($65 a month in California) instead of buying them up front.

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I’m a San Francisco-based reporter covering breaking news at Forbes. Previously, I’ve reported for USA Today, Business Insider, The San Francisco Business Times and San Jose Inside. I studied journalism at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and was an editor at The Daily Orange, the university’s independent student newspaper. Follow me on Twitter @rachsandl or shoot me an email rsandler@forbes.com.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/

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How Leading Enterprises Are Building Blockchain Innovation On AWS

Blockchain hype—led by cryptocurrency headlines—obscures powerful enterprise applications of the technology. We aim to change that. In this series, we’ll bring you insights from Amazon Web Services customers and partners who are using blockchain to change the world.

The world grows more interconnected every day. Businesses collaborate across the globe. Transactions increase in volume and intricacy. Organizations that share sensitive information across public networks risk information leaks and the possibility of sophisticated cyber attacks.

Traditional methods of storing, verifying, and securing transactions struggle to keep pace with this rising complexity. Massive inefficiency results from the need to process and verify information spread across entities. Entire industries exist only to serve as trusted intermediaries between parties. Attempts at automation create fragile webs of APIs.

Blockchain and digital ledger technologies solve these problems by storing transactions in ways that are transparent, immutable, and verifiable. And they allow multiple parties to transact in a trustworthy and efficient manner, with or without a centralized authority.

Many exciting use cases are possible. Manufacturers could build track and trace ledgers that unify data from multiple systems, enabling faster identification of the reasons for product defects. Consumers could see the history of goods from raw materials to last-mile delivery. Insurers could pay claims in seconds. The time it takes to issue a bond through a securities exchange could shrink from months to minutes.

Companies are working to reap the benefits of blockchain, such as greater speed, efficiency, and reduced risk. For example, Gartner calls blockchain one of the top 10 strategic technologies of 2019. Eighty-five percent of enterprises in a Deloitte survey said they invest $500,000 or more annually in blockchain technologies.

Yet few have deployed these systems to production. Significant challenges hamper the transformative potential of blockchain. Businesses cite regulatory issues, technical barriers, security threats, uncertain ROI, and lack of in-house skills as the biggest barriers.

Many of our own customers, such as Nestlé and Singapore Exchange, have told us about the complexity of building scalable enterprise applications on blockchain. Setting up the hardware, networking, and software can be daunting, even before getting to the experimentation phase. This delays potentially life-changing innovations.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) solves these issues in two major ways. First, we built Blockchain on AWS—a set of massively scalable blockchain and distributed ledger services in the cloud. If all you need is a centralized ledger that immutably records all application data changes, there’s Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (Amazon QLDB). If you need to build a distributed application with ledger capabilities and the ability for multiple parties to transact without a trusted central authority, there’s Amazon Managed Blockchain.

Second, we collaborate closely with leading enterprises to speed innovation. From global manufacturers to finance-industry cornerstones, these companies are creating a more scalable, secure, efficient future. For example, they’ve demonstrated that blockchain delivers throughput to handle U.S. securities trading. Others have built solutions to connect small-scale farmers with consumers thousands of miles away.

We’ll highlight these and many other exciting use cases in the coming weeks. We’re thrilled to bring you along on the journey.

For 13 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 165 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 66 Availability Zones (AZs) within 21 geographic regions, spanning the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Sweden, and the UK. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit aws.amazon.com.

Source: How Leading Enterprises Are Building Blockchain Innovation On AWS

 

Amazon Is Launching a New Program to Donate Unsold Products, After Reports That Millions Were Being Destroyed

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Amazon wants its third-party sellers to make better use of their unsold or unwanted products that often get dumped — by giving them away to charity.

Amazon is launching a new donations program, called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Donations, for third-party sellers that store their inventory in Amazon’s warehouses in the U.S. and UK, CNBC has learned. Starting on September 1, the donation program will become the default option for all sellers when they choose to dispose of their unsold or unwanted products stored in Amazon warehouses across those two countries. Sellers can opt out of the program, if they want.

The donations will be distributed to a network of U.S. nonprofits through a group called Good360 and UK charities such as Newlife and Barnardo’s. After this story was published, Amazon announced the program via a blog post on Wednesday afternoon.

The new donations program is designed to reduce the amount of inventory that must be dumped from Amazon’s warehouses, helping the environment and putting otherwise wasted products to some use. Recent reports found that Amazon routinely discards unsold inventory, with one French TV documentary estimating Amazon to have destroyed over 3 million products in France last year. Given that Amazon generates the bulk of its sales in the U.S., the number of destroyed inventory in its U.S. warehouses is likely much larger than those found in other countries.

“This program will reduce the number of products sent to landfills and instead help those in need,” Amazon wrote in the email to sellers announcing the launch.

Sellers who spoke to CNBC said the new program makes it cheaper to donate their unwanted inventory. Amazon charges 50 cents to return unsold inventory to sellers, much more than the 15 cents charged for disposal. Sellers destroy their inventory for a variety of reasons, including returns that are no longer usable or for safety issues.

In an email statement to CNBC, Amazon’s spokesperson confirmed the launch of the new program, adding it’s “working hard” to bring the number of destroyed products to zero.

“At Amazon, the vast majority of returned products are resold to other customers or liquidators, returned to suppliers, or donated to charitable organizations, depending on their condition,” Amazon said.

By: Eugene Kim

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/

 

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