Mark Fisher on
5 min read
Amazon Rising – Amazon’s Streaming Video Surpasses Hulu and Apple
Amazon.com rivals Wal-Mart as a store, Apple as a device maker, and IBM as a data services provider. It will rake in about $75B this year. The Secrets of Bezos: How Amazon Became the Everything Store, October 2013
As a brief update, Amazon revenue is expected to exceed $100B in 2014. AWS alone will account for $6B to $10B this year. Simply jaw dropping numbers. If Amazon says they will boil the ocean, better run to the beach and hop in fast before the water is scalding.
The growth of Amazon continues to amaze and confound Wall Street. CEOs across the globe marvel at Amazon”s insatiable appetite for new markets, new products and new revenue. At the same time, many of these CEOs worry they will wake up to news that Amazon has become their competitor.
So, fair warning to Network Operators – if Amazon is saying it is serious about streaming, get ready for the rivers to run fast and deep.
Well, we saw this coming.
We’ve been tracking the growth in online video for some time and have carefully recorded the remarkable trajectory of Amazon Instant Video on our charts. In just the last year, Amazon moved from 5th place to 3rd place, passing both Hulu and Apple in terms of the volume of video streaming traffic consumed from their site to US broadband subscribers. Today, only Netflix and YouTube produce more total online video traffic in the US. Amazon”s traffic volumes, as measured by Qwilt in March of 2014, increased by 94% over the previous 12 months. In some US operator networks, between March 2013 and March 2014, Amazon”s streaming video traffic increase was nearly 300%.
And all this growth happened before they announced Amazon Fire TV.
Amazon’s new Fire TV streaming device shows a true “commitment to consumption” as George Packer of the New Yorker writes in his review. Amazon wants us to stream more and faster. Further, they want us to use their hardware, software, content and cloud services when we do it. The Fire TV product offers a few interesting points of differentiation according to the press release. First, it has 3x the performance of Roku and Chromecast. Second, Amazon seems to have dramatically reduced or even eliminated online video stream buffering before the movie starts. And finally, Fire TV offers a clever voice search feature which aims to save us from paging through all those annoying grids of movies as we search for the show we want to watch.
All this means Amazon is serious about streaming video and that is certainly good for everyone.
Of course, on seeing these developments, we smile knowingly and approvingly.
Go ahead, pick up the remote and press play. Stream on. You’ll make our day.