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  • September 24, 2019

    Amazon’s pivot to Marketplace

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    Amazon, the gatekeeper to 100 million Prime members, is increasingly reliant for growth on Marketplace, where third-party sellers compete with first-party products. Amazon’s multi-channel platform strategy delivers choice and low prices to customers, but third-party sellers have increasingly complained that their playing field is not level. After Amazon’s seller agreements were modified in August to implement a competition ruling in Germany, the European Commission is now investigating the data layer.
  • August 21, 2019

    What Amazon and Uber can learn from Chinese food delivery apps

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    On 15th August 2019, Telstra announced its FY19 earnings. Falling ARPUs and NBN related impacts outweighed subscriber gains resulting in earnings declines. The Australian telco market remains competitive with nearly all sub-segments experiencing varying degrees of pricing pressure. Telstra as the market leader is most at risk as competitors increase share across different segments.
  • July 10, 2019

    Google’s Icarus moment

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    ­­­­Google’s advertising business has begun losing market share in the US, with competition from Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft intensifying in search and display. In response, the company is redoubling efforts to reshape its apps, services, and the entire web for more efficient monetisation, spelling uncertainty for partners and users. The adaptability and complexity of Google’s services reduce business risk from targeted regulatory measures, but increase the pressure for a radical intervention
  • June 26, 2019

    Facebook Libra – the cryptocurrency arms race has begun…

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    Facebook announced the launch of Libra, a new digital currency that aims to transform how we pay and transfer money. Calibra, Facebook’s Libra ewallet, has the potential to shake the entire payments industry through its scale and value. However, Libra faces multiple challenges, including regulatory hurdles and Facebook’s chequered past with privacy and data security.
  • June 12, 2019

    Monetising user-generated video

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    ­­­­Video sharing platforms, like YouTube, Facebook Watch and Twitch, are vying to attract creators with monetisation options such as branded content and user payments. Advertising income, already limited for many small and medium-sized creators, has been undermined by YouTube’s response to brand safety concerns. The new tools come with their own obstacles, but are necessary to keep platforms attractive to video creators.
  • April 16, 2019

    Google and game streaming: double or quits

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    Google’s Stadia promises the most credible game streaming service yet, but building a subscription bundle of top titles would require an all-out bet in the sector. Google is building its own game studios – to win over others it must overcome a troubled history in gaming, mitigating risks to developer business models and creative integrity. Games are much more technically demanding to stream than video, presenting an advantage to Google, Microsoft and Amazon – and a boost to telecoms network demand, welcomed by operators.
  • April 3, 2019

    eSports and Broadcasters – to TV or not to TV…

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    eSports viewership and revenues have grown significantly in the past few years and look set to continue growing rapidly. The rapid growth and the much-coveted millennial viewer base has caught the eye of traditional broadcasters who are looking at ways to explore this new content genre. But has the eSports ‘gravy train’ already left the station?
  • March 19, 2019

    UK online advertising: Brexit year forecast and trends

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    UK online advertising spend continued its double-digit growth in 2018, up 11% to reach nearly £13bn in annual spend or 58% of the total advertising market, but a no-deal consumer downturn could nearly stop growth this year. Google, Facebook, Amazon, professional services firms and the largest marketing cloud companies are the biggest winners, while content media, media agencies and independent advertising technology firms languish. Self-regulation has improved as pressure mounts on advertising technology firms, but interventions by both privacy and competition authorities are now inevitable.
  • March 12, 2019

    The future of UK video viewing: forecasts to 2028

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    Linear TV is still a mass market medium, watched by 90% of the UK population each week. However, our latest viewing forecasts predict broadcasters will account for two-thirds of all video viewing in 2028, down from c. 80% today, due to the relentless rise of online video services. Total viewing will continue to increase as more short-form content is squeezed into people’s days, particularly on portable devices, but the key battleground for eyeballs will remain the TV screen. The online shift has already had a huge impact among younger age groups, with only 55% of under-35s’ current viewing to broadcasters. Older audiences are slowly starting to follow suit, but have a long way to go.
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  • March 1, 2019

    The Next solution to ecommerce

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    Consumers have more shopping options than ever, forcing businesses to expand how and when they offer services. Online giants Amazon and Alibaba are adding physical retail to extend their routes to market. Omnichannel provides consumers an enhanced, seamless brand experience from research and discovery to purchase, delivery and after-sales, and allows businesses to react to changing consumer preferences more flexibly. Next is an omnichannel success story, introducing 48-hour home delivery in 1988 and online sales in 1999. Its market-leading fashion ecommerce business offers lessons on the future of retail.
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  • February 11, 2019

    UK TV set viewing trends: linear audiences tumble in 2018

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    2018 was another bad year for traditional TV set viewing of broadcast channels, with a 5% decline year-on-year—its steepest since 2011. The decline accelerated among most demographics, but particularly for 16-34s, down 13% YOY from their already relatively low levels of TV viewing. Unmatched use, which includes viewing to Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, continues to grow, up 16% YOY, with both linear viewing and unmatched use becoming increasingly solitary activities. While heavier linear TV viewers are accounting for a greater proportion of linear TV viewing, it is the lighter TV viewers that are accounting for a greater proportion of unmatched use. Within the broadcast ecosystem, ITV had the strongest 2018 thanks to the FIFA World Cup, more Coronation Street, and Love Island. Most other broadcasters struggled in terms of viewing share, but the maturity of the market means major shifts continue to be rare.
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  • February 5, 2019

    Why does Amazon sell the Echo?

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    Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home accelerated their prodigious rate of adoption in Q4 2018, and we expect they will soon be in 20% of UK homes. Amazon and Google price devices low to drive adoption to mass-market levels and win the race to own the home, in contrast to Apple’s profit-making strategy for its speaker. Echo’s main strategic benefits to Amazon are the scope for data collection and the intelligence it supports, and gatekeeping partners’ access to customers.
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  • February 1, 2019

    Netflix’s local content push in the UK

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    With the UK perhaps Netflix’s most valuable market outside the US—home to a stellar production sector—the streaming service is escalating its foray into local production, opening a content hub in London and moving from co-productions to direct commissions. As UK content completely dominates UK video viewing outside of the SVODs, to expand subscription reach Netflix is endeavouring to become an alternative to the PSBs’ entertainment output; this local spend is efficient given the universality and worldwide appetite for British content. With a growing proportion of local content expenditure now coming from Netflix and other SVODs, there are ramifications for both broadcasters and producers—loss of viewing, potential market pressure, increased competition for premium content and hesitancy around their own SVOD plans—along with implications for the cultural landscape.
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  • January 21, 2019

    UK advertising spend: Brexit year forecasts

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    Our central case forecast with orderly EU withdrawal predicts 2.7% growth for total UK advertising spend, down from 4.7% in 2018. We have a no-deal Brexit scenario that predicts a smaller advertising recession than in 2009, with total ad spend declining 3% and display down 5.3% in 2019. The total advertising figures partly mask the pressure on UK consumers, through an expansion of the measured advertising spend universe. This is due to significant self-serve online advertising growth by SMEs, and non-advertising marketing budgets moving to online advertising platforms. In a downturn, we’d expect advertisers to become more tactical, which would disproportionally affect display media including TV, which is further affected by declining commercial impacts among younger adults. Search and social advertising would see only small growth through the first year of a recession.
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  • January 17, 2019

    Apple and Amazon bury the hatchet

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    Amazon’s recent deals with Apple in TV, music and device sales mark a turning point after a decade of frosty relations. The context for this involves shifting priorities at both firms, growing pressure on Apple’s iPhone business, and rivals in common — first and foremost Google, but also the likes of Netflix and Spotify. The uneasy alliance helps both companies consolidate their strengths in the platform competition over media and the connected home — but trouble already brews.
  • December 4, 2018

    SVOD in the US and UK: A tale of three-player markets

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    There is a belief in some quarters that there is space for a myriad of large SVOD services in the UK. Like the UK, the US market is dominated by three services, but there is also evidence that there is appetite for further offerings: Netflix households tend to take a secondary SVOD service to complement Netflix’s content library, and are likely to take up a third service, and in some cases a fourth and fifth. Potential domestic UK services will struggle to compete with the resources that foreign tech giants can marshal, along with NOW TV’s steady position and top content.  
  • November 5, 2018

    UK Radio’s evolution towards a digital future

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    ­­­­Radio faces challenges from Spotify and other online audio propositions, while the radio “dial” is challenged by smart speakers and global tech. UK radio broadcasters have risen to the occasion through innovation. New DAB stations have helped radio achieve record audiences and revenues. Combined digital listening is now over 50%, but FM remains the primary platform. The current mix of FM/AM and digital maintains radio’s relevance for the medium term. The long-term future is digital—a wide-ranging sector review is required to determine how to support digital radio’s growth and the question of a future switchover.  
  • October 31, 2018

    US department stores, Amazon, and omnichannel fashion retail

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    Amazon is finding women’s fashion, a missing piece of its household-centric model, a tougher nut to crack than downmarket apparel. Higher-end US department stores are pushing back with an omnichannel model, emphasising long-term partnerships, a clever full-price/outlet model, and experiences which cross the online-offline divide. In apparel, Amazon and big box retailers have already triumphed over lower-tier American department stores, and even prestigious fashion brands are finding it harder and harder to refuse cooperation with the giants.
  • October 30, 2018

    Neobanks – The David against banking Goliaths?

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    The banking industry has traditionally displayed inertia to major disruption and innovation. With the rise of neobanks in Europe and the UK, and the arrival of Australia’s first neobanks; Volt, Xinja and 86 400, this may be set to change as the younger generation of customers increasingly adopt more digital and customer-centric banking services.
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  • October 26, 2018

    Video Entertainment Market Outlook: The overall Video Entertainme [...]

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    We anticipate the Australian video market to marginally decline from A$5.48bn in 2018 to A$5.33bn in 2023 driven by a deflationary shift from traditional to digital platforms. While we don’t expect the overall size of the video entertainment market to decline materially, we do expect platform share to change dramatically over the next five years. Pay-TV will remain under pressure as the way video is consumed and paid for changes. Foxtel will offset some of this pressure by its participation in the xVOD market albeit this market will be heavily contested with multiple new players emerging.
  • October 4, 2018

    From promises to practice: AI in marketing at DMEXCO 2018

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    At DMEXCO, the top online advertising conference in continental Europe, a call for responsibility took centre stage rhetorically, but was hardly reflected on the conference floor. In contrast, concrete, on-the market applications of AI in advertising were no longer a rarity, with businesses from ad tech to consultancies demonstrating case studies in campaign management, consumer segmentation and personalisation. The industry is betting that the ePrivacy Regulation will be canned as policymakers fear Chinese and American dominance in AI, but the Chinese giants still had a confused marketing pitch at DMEXCO.
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  • September 26, 2018

    Telcos and the battle for HDMI 1 – bringing everything under on [...]

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    The rise of SVOD platforms has driven a significant change in TV viewing habits with viewers having an unprecedented choice of content. The result is a fragmented video market which has made it increasingly complex for users to manage the various sources of content that are available.  
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  • September 4, 2018

    When an Amazon TV show wins a Golden Globe, Amazon sells more sho [...]

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    Over the past two decades, Amazon has grown to become the largest ecommerce player in the world. But to think of it as just an online retailer would be underestimating its presence across multiple other services and markets. Within this, Amazon Video is fast emerging as a key pillar of Amazon’s overall business as it uses video to increase Prime memberships and improve user stickiness on the Amazon platform.

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  • August 27, 2018

    Audible, audiobooks and lessons from Amazon in the UK

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    Audiobooks are growing fast, driven by smartphone adoption and better supply, as well as interest from people who don’t usually buy books, such as young men. The sector is dominated by the presence of Audible, Amazon’s audiobook publisher/retailer, which has driven growth of audiobooks but put publishers under pressure. Its strategy is a lesson in Amazon’s approach to media. Audio is an opportunity to sell to new customers, but publishers must acquire and use rights responsibly, and experiment while not letting the audio tail wag the print dog.  
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