Advanced Television

Record year for Amazon

February 2, 2024

Amazon has reported that net sales increased 12 per cent to $574.8 billion in 2023, compared with $514 billion in 2022. Excluding the $0.1 billion unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the year, net sales increased 12% compared with 2022.

North America segment sales increased 12 per cent year-over-year to $352.8 billion.

International segment sales increased 11 per cent year-over-year to $131.2 billion.

AWS segment sales increased 13 per cent year-over-year to $90.8 billion.

“This Q4 was a record-breaking Holiday shopping season and closed out a robust 2023 for Amazon,” said Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO. “While we made meaningful revenue, operating income, and free cash flow progress, what we’re most pleased with is the continued invention and customer experience improvements across our businesses. The regionalization of our US fulfillment network led to our fastest-ever delivery speeds for Prime members while also lowering our cost to serve; AWS’s continued long-term focus on customers and feature delivery, coupled with new genAI capabilities like Bedrock, Q, and Trainium have resonated with customers and are starting to be reflected in our overall results; our Advertising services continue to improve and drive positive results; our newer businesses are progressing nicely, and along with our more established businesses, collectively making customers’ lives easier and better every day. As we enter 2024, our teams are delivering at a rapid clip, and we have a lot in front of us to be excited about.”

Focusing on Prime Video, Amazon highlighted:

  • Increased total viewership for the second season of Thursday Night Football (TNF) on Prime Video by 24 per cent year over year, and had double-digit growth (14 per cent) for the second consecutive season in the hard-to-reach 18–34-year-old demographic, according to Nielsen. The November 30th Seahawks-Cowboys game attracted 15.3 million viewers, becoming Prime Video’s most watched TNF game ever, according to Nielsen.
  • Released 16 films and series from Amazon MGM Studios, including the second season of Reacher, which was the No. 1 title on Nielsen’s Top 10 Originals Streaming chart for the week it debuted and had the highest number of minutes viewed for any Prime Video title during a single week in 2023 according to Nielsen; second season of Invincible, the most-viewed animated series ever on Prime Video globally; holiday comedy Candy Cane Lane, one of the top 10 most-watched worldwide film debuts ever on Prime Video; thriller Saltburn, which had the highest week-over-week audience growth of any film on Prime Video in 2023; dramedy American Fiction; and sports drama The Boys in the Boat. This awards season, Amazon MGM Studios earned 16 Golden Globe nominations, 68 Emmy nominations and nine wins, and 21 Critics Choice Award nominations for content such as American Fiction, Saltburn,Daisy Jones & The Six, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,andThe Boys. For the upcoming Oscars, the studio earned five nominations for American Fiction, including for Best Picture.
  • Grew Prime Video’s international slate of content with more than 60 local Amazon Originals, including Mr. Dressup:The Magic of Make-Believe(Canada), which was winner of the 2023 People’s Choice Award for Documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival; Sayen: La Ruta Seca (Chile), the action-packed sequel to the most watched Latin American Original movie ever on Prime Video; Operación Triunfo (Spain), Prime Video’s first weekly live entertainment show; and 007: Road To A Million (UK), the world’s first James Bond television format, which was No. 1 on Prime Video in 27 countries worldwide on its launch weekend.
  • Expanded Prime Video’s global sports programming with the debut of the Amazon Original sports documentaries Kelce, chronicling Philadelphia Eagles captain Jason Kelce’s 2022 season,and Bye Bye Barry, the story of Barry Sanders’ decision to retire at the height of his NFL career. In live sports, Prime Video added new broadcast rights for NASCAR, the National Women’s Soccer League, and Premier Boxing Champions in the U.S.; ICC Cricket in Australia; and Wimbledon tennis in Austria and Germany.
  • Announced AWS European Sovereign Cloud, an independent cloud for Europe, to give public sector customers and those in highly regulated industries more choice to meet stringent compliance mandates in the EU and achieve the operational independence they require without compromising on the broadest and deepest cloud services.

Dan Goman, CEO and Founder of Ateliere Creative Technologies, commented: “Amazon’s technology-driven success gives it a considerable edge in the streaming market, exemplifying the challenges traditional media and entertainment companies face against tech giants entering the content space.

The tech advantage essentially creates an uneven playing field, with companies like Amazon and Netflix enjoying a massive advantage.

Essentially, it’s like comparing a car race where legacy media companies are behind the wheel of a Buick Skylark, while companies like Amazon and Netflix are speeding ahead in Ferraris. It’s hardly a fair contest, and the losses for the slower contenders will continue. Merely merging companies won’t solve the issue; after all, two Buicks won’t outpace a Ferrari.

Amazon’s strategic focus on enhancing Prime Video the last several years has transformed it into a leading streaming service, significantly broadening its business model. This shift has evolved to Prime Video offering a wide range of entertainment options and revenue streams, rather than a mere add-on to an Amazon subscription. This move has not only bolstered customer loyalty but also positioned Amazon as a formidable competitor in the streaming wars, especially as Amazon has been able to take hold of Thursday Night Football, and other major streaming moments.

While many streaming services are introducing ad-supported tiers as an option, Amazon is taking a unique approach by making ads the default for Prime Video viewers, with an option to pay extra for ad-free viewing. This strategy could differentiate Amazon in the crowded streaming market by potentially increasing ad revenue while also catering to those who prefer a premium, ad-free experience (and willing to pay more).

This move aligns with broader industry trends increasing monetisation and driving profitability for streaming platforms. The introduction of ads on Amazon Prime Video is expected to have upwards a 5 billion dollar impact on Amazon’s earnings over the next several months.”


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