Seeking Alpha, Inc. (AMZN)

  • Oct. 13, 2014, 6:45 PM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) will spend over $2.5B on streaming license rights and original content next year, up from $1.5B-$2B in 2014, estimates Bernstein. The company's 2015 revenue consensus is at $109.2B.
    • Bernstein also reports a survey of 400 Prime subs found 60% of them used Prime Instant Video, and that 13% of those who signed up for Prime in the last year did so to get Instant Video (only 6% of older sign-ups did so).
    • At those rates, the firm thinks Amazon will need to add 10M-20M additional Prime subs, on top of an estimated base of 42M, to justify its investment.
    • Though unwilling to share details about its content spend (as with so many other things), several of Amazon's streaming deals have been reported to carry steep prices. Its HBO deal reportedly costs $300M+ over 3 years, and its Viacom deal $200M+ over more than two years. The e-commerce giant is also paying licensing fees for its ad-free Prime Music service.
  • Oct. 9, 2014, 2:43 PM
    • Amazon (AMZN -1.8%) plans to open a bricks-and-mortar store across the street from the Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan, the WSJ reports. Sources add stores could launch in other cities, if the NYC effort proves successful.
    • The Manhattan store, due to open in time for the holiday season, would "function as a mini-warehouse, with limited inventory for same-day delivery within New York, product returns and exchanges, and pickups of online orders." It might also be used as a showroom for Amazon's Kindle hardware.
    • Though having experimented with Kindle pop-up shops and rolled out delivery lockers, Amazon has thus far shied away from investing in a more conventional retail presence, along with the requisite overhead. For the moment, it looks as if Amazon's store effort is more about boosting its brand and improving its online shopping experience than about directly squaring off against the likes of Wal-Mart and Best Buy.
    • Amazon already offers same-day delivery in NYC. Re/code has reported the AmazonFresh grocery delivery service will be launching in NYC soon.
  • Oct. 9, 2014, 9:31 AM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) says new original series Transparent has broken binge-viewership records on Prime Instant Video and scored high ratings on consumer measurement sites.
    • A second season for the dark comedy has been approved by Amazon Studios.
    • Reviews: Variety, Hollywood Reporter.
  • Oct. 8, 2014, 12:59 PM
    • ChannelAdvisor (ECOM -1.8%) clients selling on Amazon (AMZN +0.1%) saw a 37.9% Y/Y same-store sales increase in September. That figure is down from August's 45.1%, but above that for all but 2 of the last 12 months and still over 2x e-commerce industry growth. 35% of the sales were fulfilled by Amazon, up from 30.2% a year ago.
    • eBay (EBAY +1.1%) same-store sales rose 8.9% Y/Y, an improvement from August's 5.9% but still below industry growth. Amazon's share gains and Google algorithm changes continue taking a toll. Auctions -4.1%, fixed-price +7.6%, Motors +14.7%.
    • Same-store sales driven by search ads - largely from Google (GOOG -0.4%) - rose 28.5% Y/Y, a sharp increase from August's 13.6%. Clicks +8%, ad prices +1% (pressured by low smartphone ad prices), orders +8%, average order value +15%.
    • Google Shopping-related same-store sales rose 45.2% Y/Y, a slowdown from August's 54.3% but still far above industry growth. Average order value rose 33.9%, something ChannelAdvisor attributes to both strong consumer spending and algorithm changes that have led higher-priced goods to be shown more often.
  • Oct. 7, 2014, 8:05 AM
  • Oct. 7, 2014, 3:10 AM
    • The European Commission is poised to launch a formal probe into Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) receipt of improper Luxembourg state aid.
    • Investigators believe the country gave Amazon favorable terms in a 2003 tax ruling, which caps its tax exposure to the Grand Duchy and helps limit its overall bill to less than 1% of the retailer’s European income.
    • Amazon reduces its tax bill by having its U.S. unit that owns its technology licenses lease the rights to re-license the technology to a tax-exempt partnership based in Luxembourg.
  • Oct. 6, 2014, 7:57 AM
    • Online grocery store sales will grow to $80B-$123B per year by 2023, according to a presentation by Brick Meets Click.
    • The explosive growth is expected to be led by the popularity of the service in major cities such as New York and San Francisco.
    • Related stocks: KR, SWY, SVU, WFM, AMZN, WMT.
  • Oct. 3, 2014, 9:44 AM
    • Amazon (AMZN +0.5%) announces it will develop a full series from the pilots Hand of God and Red Oaks in 2015.
    • The company uses a crowdsourced method of selecting which pilots to greenlight.
  • Oct. 2, 2014, 9:28 AM
    • A survey of consumers by RBC Capital Markets indicates viewership of network TV websites has fallen.
    • YouTube, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) scored a higher percentage of viewers from a year ago - while NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA), ABC (NYSE:DIS), CBS (NYSE:CBS), and Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) were all in decline over the period.
    • HBO Go (NYSE:TWX) saw its percentage of users rise to 10% from 6%, while Hulu fell back.
    • Secular TV ratings have also been in decline for networks.
  • Sep. 30, 2014, 11:17 PM
    • Pre-orders for upcoming Disney (NYSE:DIS) movies are available on (NASDAQ:AMZN) again in what could be an early indication that a deal has been worked out between the two companies
    • Disney titles went missing from Amazon's site amid a dispute over pricing policies.
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  • Sep. 30, 2014, 9:19 AM
    • The FCC is considering new regulations for companies looking to offer an over-the-top online video service, according to The Wall Street Journal.
    • Rules governing OTT services could make it harder for content providers and distributors to carve out smaller deals for programming.
    • Traditional streamers such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) that offer their content on-demand should be outside the regulatory purview of the FCC on the OTT startups.
    • Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), Sony (NYSE:SNE), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) are the furthest along in the race for a trimmed-down online video package aimed largely at cord-cutters and cord-nevers.
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  • Sep. 26, 2014, 4:31 PM
    • Re/code reports the AmazonFresh grocery delivery service will soon launch in NYC, perhaps "as early as next month." Amazon (AMZN +0.4%) is said to be "building up food inventory" at an NJ warehouse 20-25 miles from Manhattan.
    • A Philadelphia launch is also reportedly being considered for the $299/year service, which bundles Amazon Prime and also provides same or next-day delivery for many non-grocery items.
    • AmazonFresh is currently available in the Bay Area, L.A., San Diego, and Seattle. NYC is one of more than a dozen markets in which Amazon provides non-grocery same-day service.
    • In NYC, competition will be provided by FreshDirect, which is reportedly doing $400M-$500M/year in sales. Google's Shopping Express service (relies on retail partners) competes elsewhere.
    • Previous: Deutsche on AmazonFresh's challenge to supermarkets
  • Sep. 25, 2014, 8:01 AM
    • Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) top executive in charge of digital music and video, Bill Carr,  plans to leave the company at the end of the year.
    • Carr has been a point man for Amazon in its streaming battle against Netflix and Hulu by pushing forward the company's original programming slate.
  • Sep. 24, 2014, 3:16 PM
    • The USPS wants to add more cities to its pilot grocery delivery program.
    • The agency starting delivering items for Amazon Fresh (NASDAQ:AMZN) in San Francisco last month.
    • A grocery delivery service is on the drawing board at a number of companies and Internet upstarts, with many seeing more upside for delivering B2B instead of direct to households.
  • Sep. 24, 2014, 8:13 AM
  • Sep. 22, 2014, 7:08 AM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) workers at five logistical centers in Germany are on strike over a wage dispute.
    • The union group says it won't accept the right of Amazon to "arbitrarily" dictate salary levels, instead of using an established broad German retail wage structure.
    • The job walk-off is larger than one the company faced in Germany last year.
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Company Description Inc is an online retailer. The Company sells its products through the website which provides services, such as advertising services and co-branded credit card agreements. It also offerselectronic devices like Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets.