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Streaming Sports Would Boost Amazon’s Profits In A Big Way

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Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. But Amazon competes on low prices, meaning the company’s profit margins are slim, leading to surprisingly small profits in relation to other tech giants. Amazon has come up with creative solutions such as cloud hosting through AWS and subscription revenue in the form of Amazon Prime. And while Prime has been great for customers, it’s about to get even better for sports fans with Amazon in talks to stream live sports… Why would Amazon streaming sports make such a big difference for the company?

What’s In It For Amazon When It Comes To Streaming Sports?

In 2015 Amazon produced just $92 million a quarter in profits. Or about $400 million in profits for the year. Other tech giants made significantly more. Google, for example, earned around $3.93 billion in profits per quarter. Ebay, another consumer site, netted $682 million in the final quarter of 2015. How is that one of the biggest brands in the world in Amazon earns so little in comparison to its peers? And how does Amazon change that fact?

Amazon has a reputation for quality, customer service, and price. And when customers can have something good, fast, and cheap, consumers flock to it. But the downside of that is low margins for Amazon. The online retailer has warehouses full of inventory from manufacturers, and earns revenues by acting as a distributor. Thus, Amazon stores the goods, ships the goods, and pays for the labor costs of doing all of that. Amazon’s main weapon to combat that is Amazon Prime. Members pay $10/month or $99/year (with college students receiving a 50 percent discount) and receive free expedited shipping, streaming movies, TV shows, and videos, and other rewards.

Although Amazon has to cover the cost of shipping, that money comes out of the subscription costs paid by members, who would have to order quite a bit to actually eat into Amazon’s profits there. And even then, those costs are offset by all the Amazon Prime members who pay their membership fees but never order anything delivered.

The real money comes in through the streaming videos, though. There’s no overhead there as far as housing and shipping, as with warehouses and warehouse workers. Millions of people can watch an episode of Mr. Robot simultaneously without any additional cost to Amazon. That’s the same reason Netflix invests in original programming. The more people paying monthly to watch the same piece of content, the more profit the company makes. Amazon has already announced it plans to build out its video content platform, doubling its video content spending on original content in the coming year. And now Amazon is in talks to stream live sports for Prime members, meaning the company could see a huge bump in subscription revenue.

Amazon has already held talks for live game rights with major sports leagues including the NFL, NBA, MLB, and MLS. In addition to the major league sports, Amazon is also exploring other athletics such as surfing, lacrosse, and even cricket. Amazon has even asked broadcasters such as Disney and Univision for rights to games they aren’t airing. This “give us whatever you aren’t using” approach could be incredibly lucrative to Amazon, bringing in fans of sports teams whose games are not aired on traditional TV as new Prime members. Amazon could even offer the sports package as a standalone skinny bundle, producing additional revenue off the same product. The only big hurdle seems to be premium rights. The NBA has a contract with both TNT and ESPN until 2025.

The NFL deals exclusively with CBS, ESPN, NBC, and Fox until nearly the same time. As a foothold, the company may start with less-often viewed sports such as gymnastics and lacrosse, eventually building a large audience similar to how the retailer started off as an online bookstore.

Here’s a 7 lesser know benefits of Amazon Prime from Tech Insider:

Providing live sports to fans who want the immediate gratification of watching their favorite athletes perform will absolutely bring in new Prime members, driving up revenue and profits to offset Amazon’s fixed and variable costs. Amazon is betting big on it, and investors agree as Amazon’s (AMZN) shares are up on the news. As usual, expect shares to continue up, and for Jeff Bezos to knock this deal out of the park.

Did you know Microsoft plans to go big with quantum computing? Read yesterday’s news here!

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Business

RetailMeNot’s Five to Buy in February

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RetailMeNot's Five to Buy in February
Image via Shutterstock

The wintry temps may make you cold, but February deals are sure to warm your heart. It’s not only a great time to shower your valentine with roses and gifts, but it’s a great time to make other smart and timely purchases as well.

The shopping and trends expert for RetailMeNot, Sara Skirboll, agrees. “With the biggest football game of the year, Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day on the horizon, retailers will offer tremendous savings on a variety of categories — from TVs and TV dinners to all of your Valentine’s Day needs.

1. Play Cupid

With Valentine’s Day this month, shoppers might be struggling to find the right present that symbolizes their love. You can never go wrong with a customized gift made especially for them. This month, shoppers looking to go the extra mile for their loved one will save an average of 40% on items like personalized photo albums, picture frames, wall art and more. You name it, they make it — and just because it’s customized doesn’t mean it will break the bank. Turn to retailers like Shutterfly who is offering a RetailMeNot exclusive for 28% off your regular priced purchase.

2. Ding-Dong Deals

While some might make dinner reservations at the fanciest restaurant in town, many will opt to eat at home. Those who do can take advantage of special promotions and discounts. In fact, diners can save an average of 30% off all month long, so be sure to search the food delivery deals from RetailMeNot. Right now, DoorDash is offering 25% off your first purchase and Postmates is offering $15 delivery credit for existing users.

3. Flower Power

Everything’s coming up roses! According to a recent RetailMeNot survey, 46% of shoppers plan to buy flowers for Valentine’s Day this year, up from 34% in 2019. Many florists will be offering promotions and discounts to help shoppers prepare for the holiday. This year, retailers like 1800Flowers are having up to 40% off flowers & gifts and FTD is offering a RetailMeNot exclusive offer for 20% off sitewide.

4. Get Your Game On

Attention sports fans: Discounts on electronics are not strictly reserved for Black Friday! In fact, February is the second-cheapest time of year to buy a new TV. With the big game right around the corner and March Madness close behind, manufacturers will use those big-time events to highlight big savings on big-screen sets. Another reason for the markdowns is that new models will be released next month, so retailers will be looking to make room for new inventory. Shoppers in the market for a new TV should head to Samsung where they can get 10% cash back with RetailMeNot, and Best Buy where they can find up to 64% off clearance items.

5. Meet Your (Price) Match

Life can easily get in the way of finding “the one,” but online dating sites and convenient mobile apps are here to help. Those looking for love are in luck: Dating sites can offer up to 75% off enrollment fees to encourage singles to put themselves out there. Dating sites like eHarmony are offering 35% off all subscriptions and OkCupid is offering free membership.

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Arts

Shutterstock Announced as Official Photographer of the 2020 EE British Academy Film Awards

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shutterstock 2020 EE British Academy Film Awards
Shutterstock Announced as Official Photographer of the 2020 EE British Academy Film Awards (Photo: PR Newswire)

Shutterstock, Inc., a leading global technology company offering a creative platform for high-quality content, tools and services, today announced that it has been renewed as the official photographer of the 2020 EE British Academy Film Awards, which recognizes the very best in film over the past year. As the official photographer of the show on Sunday, February 2nd, Shutterstock’s on-site entertainment photographers, editors and engineering team will deliver exclusive high-quality images from the event at the Royal Albert Hall in London to the world in less than one minute from the image being taken.

Shutterstock’s editorial team captures, edits and distributes celebrity portraits and candid images leveraging proprietary software optimized for speed to market. As the moments from the red carpet, inside the awards show, and at the after-parties are captured, Shutterstock’s team makes lightning-fast crops and edits and transmits them directly to the desks of photo editors, writers and media. This speed-to-market empowers Shutterstock’s editorial customers to keep up with today’s fast news cycle to quickly deliver their news stories.

“We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with BAFTA, an arts charity whose purpose of celebrating and supporting the best work and talent in film, games and television is closely aligned with Shutterstock’s,” said Candice Murray, Vice President of Editorial at Shutterstock. “As a company whose passion is rooted in creativity, it is always an honor to be selected to shoot and share these unique moments recognizing the industry’s top creatives from around the world at the BAFTAs.”

“Shutterstock is best equipped to provide the world’s media with high-quality images of our awards ceremonies and year-round program through their advanced creative platform,” said Claire Rees, Photography Director for British Academy of Film and Television Arts. “Our partnership has grown over the years and as Shutterstock’s technology and service continue to evolve, we continue to see greater results in amplifying the mission of BAFTA around the world.”

Shutterstock’s annual partnership with BAFTA, a world-leading independent arts charity, originated in 2013 and includes editorial photography coverage of the Television Craft Awards, Games Awards, Television Awards, Young Game Designers Competition, Scotland Awards, Cymru Awards and Children’s Awards.

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Business

Amazon Profits Surge as Investment in Faster Shipping Pays Off

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Amazon Profits Surge as Investment in Faster Shipping Pays Off
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By Dominic Rushe

Amazon’s massive investment in faster shipping paid off for the tech company over the Christmas holidays with record sales and four times as many customers taking advantage of its free one-day shipping offer over the shopping season compared with last year.

Amazon is spending billions making one-day shipping the default for its Prime members and the gamble helped drive its revenues up over $87bn for the final quarter of 2019, or $29bn a month, compared with $72.4bn in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Profits increased to $3.3bn in the fourth quarter, up from $3bn in the same period last year, after a fall of 25% from July to September due to its costly shipping investments. Amazon’s shares shot up over 10% in after-hours trading.

“We’ve made Prime delivery faster – the number of items delivered to US customers with Prime’s free one-day and same-day delivery more than quadrupled this quarter compared to last year,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.

Amazon’s bumper Christmas – the best in its history – came as other retailers including Target, Macy’s and JC Penney have reported lower sales.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), its cloud computing business, reported revenues of $9.9bn for the quarter, up 34% from the year-ago period.

Amazon also gave an update on its number of Prime subscribers, who pay an annual fee for faster shipping and access to free content on its streaming media services. Bezos said the company now has over 150 million paid Prime members around the world, up from 100 million last April.

Amazon’s share price has lagged its tech giant peers in recent months as investors have worried about its spending. The latest results push the company back into the exclusive club of tech companies now valued at over $1tn including Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft.

Copyright © 2020 theguardian.com. All rights reserved.

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