Aug 30, 2019 Disney sells YES Network to the Yankees, Sinclair, and *Amazon* Read More Now batting, for the New York Yankees... Jeff Bezos. In one of the final chapters of the Disney-acquires-Fox saga, Disney officially sold the YES Network Thursday to the NY Yankees, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Amazon, and some other investors. Here's what they're buying:
YES is the TV channel with rights to broadcast the Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, NY Liberty, and NYC FC teams.
And it's worth $3.7B because New York sports have global appeal despite local frustration.
This Disney & Fox deal goes way back to 2017... That's when Mickey started a bidding war against Comcast to acquire 21st Century Fox, which included X-Men, Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, Avatar, 22 regional sports networks, and the YES Network. The Justice Department allowed the merger on 1 big condition:
The requirement: Disney can add all those big names, but only if it sells the sports channels and YES — otherwise it would have too much media power.
Sports translation: LeBron and Kobe can be on the same team, but only if they trade away Steph to another one.The Takeaway:Amazon's now the proud 15% owner of YES Network... It hasn't said what it will do with that — But we're all hoping for the Yankees to be a #PrimePerk. Amazon Prime Video has already done deals with the NFL's Thursday Night Football and the Premier League. CEO Bezos won't offer up details yet, but it's already generating HQ2-style speculation. Aug 29, 2019 Amazon's Ring security cameras team up with 400 police departments Read More Pranks just got harder... Over 400 police departments (these ones) can now ask Ring security camera owners for help cracking a crime. Amazon acquired Ring last year for $800M, then connected the doorbell-camera security startup to its own Neighbors app — Now Ring shows you, or the police, who's knocking.
Don't panic... You've got to opt in first. But here's how it goes down. The Neighbors app lets Ring-owners open up the video feed of their front stoop for all to see. Then "neighbors" (as Amazon calls the users) could get this request from local police: "There was a burglary this morning on 240 Spruce Street — you got video footage?" Got Ring? You might.The Takeaway:Nearly every new tech product has a privacy issue... Amazon made phone-connected home security a scalable thing — Ring became a Prime Day bestseller. Now catching package thieves in the act is the next reality TV hit. But Ring's relentlessly un-blinking 24/7 footage is just another front in the tech privacy battles:
The customer benefit: Protect your home, your neighborhood, and help the police catch "the Wet Bandits."
The social downside: Record your unwitting neighbors, potentially start over-reporting unsuspicious activity, and possibly get your feed hacked into. Jul 18, 2019 Amazon's (record) Prime Day highlights its defining strategy: the "flywheel" Read More Even Siri knows it... Sales on Amazon's Prime Day surpassed both its Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Combined. A record 175M items were snagged — up 75% from last year. Some of that's thanks to T-Swift's kick-off concert, most is from the 18 countries now taking part. Here are your worldwide best-selling items (straight from Amazon's brag sheet):
US: Personal water filter straw, 23andMe ancestry kits.
UK: Sony PlayStation (FYI, Mexico loved Nintendo Switch, while Australia's top-seller was Mario Kart 8 Deluxe).
China: Dove exfoliating scrub.
Italy: Nescafé espresso (classic).
Germany: Some very, very practical stainless steel pans.
Add "Halo Effect" to the shopping cart... That's the impact Amazon's mid-summer splurge-fest had on the rest of retail as everyone launched their own mini-sales.
The positive: Sales surged 68% at big non-Amazon retailers and 28% at small ones.
The negative: Discounts drove those sales — retailers desperately race to the bottom on prices on Prime Day. Great for us, not really great for the companies.The Takeaway:"Flywheel effect" is bigger than "halo effect"... The flywheel is what Amazon biographer Brad Stone called the company's "secret sauce" — the self-reinforcing wheel that Prime Day is now a spoke in. Here's the cycle: Prime members shop big on Prime Day (to justify the $119/yr membership) and they bought Alexa products for their homes — Echo Dot and other voice assistant products were the top sellers this week. Now those primers will do even more with Amazon, thanks to Alexa's help. Jun 28, 2019 Data shows Amazon ships almost half its packages ITSELF Read More When you track every Amazon package for 2.5 years... you learn juicy details. Data-obsessed company Rakuten found that the percent of Amazon packages delivered by Amazon rose from 16% in 2017 to 48% today — The US Postal Service ships 33%, UPS has 17%, and FedEx covers under 2%. All of Amazon's gains over that span were at the expense of the Postal Service (just as Trump started demanding Amazon pay more for mail).
How'd it happen so fast?... A combo of strategic under-the-radar and high-profile shipping fleets:
Amazon Flex: Lets gig workers deliver packages in their own Honda Civic delivery coupe à la Uber/Lyft, making $18-$25/hour.
Amazon Delivery Partners: Amazon entices local entrepreneurs to start micro-delivery companies to handle last-mile delivery of packages to stoops across their hometowns.
Amazon Now: Those Amazon-branded vans that can deliver to a bar within an hour.
Amazon Locker, Amazon Counter: Deliver a bunch of things to 1 spot, like a student center or a Rite Aid (that partnership was announced yesterday), letting customers carry their stuff home.
Planes (Amazon just leased 15 at the Paris Air Show), drones (arriving "within months"), and a $1.5B air hub in Kentucky.The Takeaway:Let the competition give you data, then beat them with it... Amazon's relationship with a bunch of partners shifted from friends to frenemies to enemies — It partnered up at first, but eventually used partnership data to do it better itself. Amazon's done that with physical stores (Amazon Go) and even video (Amazon Original films). And according to Rakuten, Amazon-delivered packages take 3.2 days on average. Everyone else takes 6. Jun 13, 2019 CrowdStrike surges 71% on IPO day Read More When the DNC was hacked by Russia pre-election 2016... CrowdStrike was there. The cybersecurity company that protects against hacks discovered the breach, told the FBI, and then snagged a lot of PR. Now it's earning attention for its IPO — Shares surged 71% in their first day of trading and CrowdStrike is worth almost $12B (aka 2/3 as much as Lyft).
Who ya gonna call?... Probably one of these companies. The attention on CrowdSource reveals how packed the competitive landscape is for securing your digital stuff (work and home):
Personal: LogMeIn owns LastPass, keeping your "!-2-3-4" passcode less obvious.
Home: ADT, Brinks, and Alarm.com are all on guard.
Business: Palo Alto Networks and FireEye are always at work (competing with CrowdStrike).
Side-hustlers: Their core biz isn't security, but Google's Nest covers your kitchen, while Amazon's Ring doorbell has the front porch.
The Takeaway:Bikes need bike helmets... As internet adoption grows, so does the data generated along with it — And each bit of data probably needs protecting. The rise of tech is driving the cybersecurity industry that guards it. CrowdStrike (and its 5X revenue growth since 2017 to $250M) is happily caught in that trend.
Jun 12, 2019 Amazon shuts down "Amazon Restaurants" — Grubhub celebrates with 8% jump Read More Apparently Amazon fails at some things... The company's restaurant delivery service, uncreatively-named Amazon Restaurants, will end on June 24th — The 1-hour meal delivery for Prime members is over. Now "Restaurants" gets to join the rarely-discussed club of Amazon un-successes:
Amazon Fire: A smartphone. 2014-2015. RIP.
Destinations: An attempt to get into the travel bookings game. Shut down the year it launched.
Dash Buttons: $5 gadgets you press to auto-order more things, like Tide. Barking at Alexa turned out to be easier.
And now, Amazon Restaurants: It was tiny — Just 20 cities and 2% of the overall market.
90% of the food delivery market... is devoured by 4 companies: Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates. Word that Amazon canceled its delivery plans popped Grubhub shares 8% Tuesday (shares of the others are either private or complicated by Uber's ride-share majority business). Amazon's not completely out, though — Last month it led a $575M investment in UK-based deliverer Deliveroo.The Takeaway:Amazon clearly didn’t promote Restaurants enough... And we found a key example that highlights that: Fast food partnerships. Uber Eats delivers for McDonald's, DoorDash has Wendy's, and Grubhub handles Taco Bell. Amazon didn't invest in driving growth to its own service, so it'll invest in startups to do that instead.