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.
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.
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.
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.
Pilot pay per hour
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.
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
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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.
Sales had continued to slide. Stores were in disrepair. And company leaders were struggling to adapt to the changing behavior of consumers–many of whom were shopping more and more with online retailers like Amazon.
As fellow retailers Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and Gap collectively shuttered hundreds of stores because of similar struggles, analysts said Target should do the same.
But Target executives, led by CEO Brian Cornell, had a different idea. The key to revitalizing Target, they said, was to go on the offensive.
remodeling existing stores (and opening smaller ones in urban areas);
introducing new, private label brands; and,
enhancing its digital shopping experience.
Wall Street thought the plan was a disaster. On the day of the announcement, Target suffered its largest stock plunge in almost a decade.
But fast-forward to today, and Target is thriving. First-quarter results for 2019 beat analysts’ expectations. The store’s private-label lines are exploding. And as comparable store sales continue to rise, the stock price is trading at an all-time high.
How did Target do it?
A close look at the company’s brilliant turnaround strategy reveals some major lessons for businesses of any size.
Here are some highlights:
Think long term.
When Target announced its turnaround plan, Cornell expected backlash. He knew investors would hate the idea of stuttering profits for the foreseeable future.
But he held fast to his plan. “We’re investing in our business with a long-term view of years and decades, not months and quarters,” Cornell said at the time.
Cornell knew this reset was necessary because so many Target stores had fallen into disrepair over the years. And while the company was making efforts in e-commerce, it simply didn’t have the infrastructure to deliver.
Contrast that with today. Target has remodeled hundreds of stores, and it has built a hundred “mini-stores” in urban areas like New York and on college campuses (with plans to open dozens more of these every year for the foreseeable future). The company also invested heavily in its e-commerce operations to great benefit. (More on this in a minute.)
By focusing on the long-term health of the company instead of short-term financial performance, Cornell took a page out of Jeff Bezos’s playbook–and it clearly worked.
Leverage your strengths.
Target’s e-commerce infrastructure needed a complete revamp. But could the company really compete with Amazon and Walmart, which were years ahead of the curve?
It could–by doing things a little differently.
Target execs knew that as popular as e-commerce has become, the majority of retail shopping still takes place in physical stores–especially when it comes to clothing.
So Target chose to focus on a model that would maximize its strengths. Known as “ship-to-store,” Target’s e-commerce platform turns physical stores into mini warehouses for online customers. That makes it possible for customers to order a product online, and then pick it up in a store on the same day.
Ship-to-store reduces Target’s shipping and handling costs, and takes advantage of already existing space in physical stores. And if a customer decides to do some shopping while already there at Target, the benefit is two-fold.
Fill a gap.
Consumers had once affectionately referred to Target as “Tarzhay,” an ode to products and style that were affordable yet a step above those offered by competitors like Walmart. Over time, though, Target had created too many labels that were clear misses.
“Tarzhay” had lost its cachet.
But nobody had stepped up to fill that gap of stylish, exclusive clothing for lower prices. So, in an effort to rebuild its reputation, Target doubled down on its exclusive brands. The company has launched 20 private-label lines over the past three years, including brands for modern furniture, kids’ clothes, electronics, and home goods.
In addition, Target has worked hard to fill gaps left by unsuccessful competitors. For example, when stores like Toys “R” Us and the Sports Authority went bankrupt, Target saw this as opportunity: market share begging to be gobbled up.
Yes, Target has definitely gotten its groove back. It did so by bucking analysts’ advice, and instead returning to basics:
Target is one of the biggest retailers in America, but nowadays even the biggest retailers like Sears and Toys R Us have gone bankrupt with the rise of Amazon. This video describes how Target not only survived Amazon, but beat Amazon in the online e-commerce space. Sources: https://bit.ly/2Itw7EEhttps://bit.ly/2QVZ9k4https://cnb.cx/31eIAoj Music: Song: SKANDR – Blue Lemonade (Vlog No Copyright Music) Music promoted by Vlog No Copyright Music. Video Link: https://youtu.be/iV1ca6K9VBM Song: KSMK – Forget All (Vlog No Copyright Music) Music provided by Vlog No Copyright Music. Video Link: https://youtu.be/7rkO5DyLoTE Song: KSMK – Just my imagination (Vlog No Copyright Music) Music provided by Vlog No Copyright Music. Video Link: https://youtu.be/5v_zQANhToo Song: KSMK – You (Vlog No Copyright Music) Music promoted by Vlog No Copyright Music. Video Link: https://youtu.be/974y9fyIaG4 Song: Dizaro – Sunset Beach (Vlog No Copyright Music) Music provided by Vlog No Copyright Music. Video Link: https://youtu.be/H–bOQgYsz0
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.
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.
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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.
On Wednesday evening, hours after the stock markets had closed, Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos filed paperwork with the Securities Exchange Commission which showed he had sold $1.8 billion worth of Amazon shares over the final three days of July. After taxes, he will net about $1.4 billion.
Bezos sold slightly more than 900,000 shares of Amazon between July 29 and July 31, when the e-commerce behometh’s stock price was around $1,900 a share. His net worth is now $115 billion, using Wednesday’s closing share price.
The last time that Bezos sold Amazon shares was in October 2018.
The new filings appear to show that Bezos has given his ex-wife MacKenzie 25% of his Amazon stake, or 19.7 million shares. In April, as the couple announced they were getting divorced, Mackenzie tweeted that Jeff would keep 75% of his Amazon stake. Jeff Bezos will continue to exercise voting control over the 19.7 million shares of Amazon he transferred to his wife, according to an SEC filing in April. Her Amazon shares are worth nearly $36.8 billion, making her the third richest woman in the world.
A spokesman for Amazon has not responded to requests for comment.
Jeff Bezos has sold large chunks of Amazon stock before, but this appears to be the largest sale, measured in dollars. Bezos sold Amazon stock worth $1.7 billion in 2017 in two separate transactions in May and November of that year. It was reported that Bezos planned to sell $1 billion worth of stock every year to fund Blue Origin, his space exploration company.
Bezos has done little in terms of philanthropy so far. In September 2018, he announced the Bezos Day One Fund, a $2 billion pledge for two causes: helping homeless families find shelter and creating Montessori-inspired preschools in the U.S.
The tipping controversy that prompted Instacart to reverse a compensation plan to its contract workers isn’t likely to go away: Rivals DoorDash and Amazon Flex are continuing to adjust driver pay based on how much they get tipped, saying doing so ensures a minimum payout. The practice, which has its roots in the way brick-and-mortar restaurants pay waitstaff, has been adapted to suit the needs of app-based delivery companies…………
Amazon has become the world’s most valuable company for the first time, surpassing Microsoft. The shift occurred Monday after Amazon’s shares rose 3 per cent to close at $1,629.51 and lifted the e-commerce leader’s market value to $797billion. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s stock edged up by less than 1 percent to finish at $102.06, leaving the computer […]