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Amazon Turns 30. The Next Decade is Going to Be Exciting, But Also Challenging

As Amazon turns 30 this week, there's a lot to celebrate, but also threats and challenges ahead. Read more to see why.Amazon Turns 30. The Next Decade is Going to Be Exciting, But Also Challenging

This week, Amazon turns 30. What a ride it's been since the first book was delivered in 1994!

Its 30s look bright, but not without threats and challenges.

Opportunities

Ads

  • Amazon’s advertising business is the third-largest in the world, behind Google and Meta. It represents only 8% of total revenue but is estimated to have gross margins of 40%, much higher than the slim margins of the retail business and even higher than AWS. It’s also the fastest growing segment.
  • In January, Amazon Prime Video started showing ads to viewers in the US, UK, Canada, and Germany. It is estimated that only one in seven Prime users will upgrade to the more expensive ad-free tier.
    This leaves around 260 million Prime members as potential viewers of ads!
  • To attract even more viewers, Amazon is signing multi-billion dollar deals with MrBeast, the NBA, and the NFL.

AWS (Amazon Web Services)

Since the Ai frenzy, it’s been a boom time for cloud computing. AWS's strength lies not only in its high-spending customer base but also in internal synergies. Thanks to AWS, Amazon can develop innovative Ai applications for its retail and ad business, giving it an even greater advantage over retail competitors.

Threats

Competition

Yes, even giants like Amazon have competition.

Regulatory Concerns

By bundling more services, Amazon might attract the attention of competition regulators.

Last year, America’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit against it, although this had little impact on the share price or investor sentiment, for now.

Looking forward to the next decade!

The chart shows the share of revenue for each Amazon business unit. Advertising represents 8% of total revenue.
Amazon business units share of total revenue, full year 2023

The chart, taken from The Economist, shows the YoY growth of every Amazon business unit.
Amazon business units revenue, revenue % increase on 2022
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