Amazon to continue meaningful investment in Video biz

Its video library expanding with critically acclaimed TV shows and rights of live sports.


MUMBAI: At a time when the lines between tech companies and media companies are gradually blurring, e-commerce giant Amazon has been aggressive on the video front although being a relatively new entrant. While its video library is expanding with critically acclaimed TV shows and rights of live sports, the company has reaffirmed it will continue to invest meaningfully in digital video.

Amazon investor relations director Dave Fildes said in an earnings call after Q1 2019 results that the company is extremely excited about this particular segment. He also cited examples of critically acclaimed shows on Amazon Prime Video like Homecoming, Jack Ryan, Hanna and Guava Island. Hence, Fildes assured that Amazon’s investment focus will continue here.

“On the accounting side, we did adopt an accounting standard in January that amended our accounting for how we cap for produced original video content. And under that new guidance, we capitalise production cost for original video content. Previously, we only capitalised a portion of those costs. So, the net impact, for the first quarter, to operating income wasn't material,” he added.

However, Fildes also mentioned that it would expect the impact to increase in the latter part of the second half of the year, in line with their production schedule as it grows. Amazon senior vice president and chief financial officer Brian Olsvasky also said that the hours watched on Video as a part of Prime benefit is in right direction and will continue to get better.

Amazon Studios has given the green flag to more than 20 new and returning local Prime Original Series in the first quarter including La Templanza in Spain, Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo in Germany, Bandish Bandits in India, El Presidente in Mexico, and The Bachelorette in Japan.

Jeff Bezos-led Amazon posted its first-quarter earnings beating analysts’ expectations for profit. It reported $3.6 billion net income in the quarter, more than twice the investors’ predictions. However, the $59.7 billion revenue of the company was in line with Wall Street expectations, up 16 per cent year-over-year.

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