• Feedvisor, an online retailer advising company, found in its latest Amazon report that nearly 50% of Amazon vendors spend $40,000+ a month on Amazon Advertising and 38% spend $60,000+ a month. According to Amazon’s 2018 annual filing, advertising (in the company’s “Other” category) remains the fastest-growing segment, growing 97% year over year in Q4 2018 compared with 60% year over year in Q4 2017. This marks significantly higher growth for Amazon’s advertising business than Google’s (20%) or Facebook’s (30%) between 2017 and 2018.
  • On the slower side of things, Amazon’s subscriptions business is decelerating. According to the company’s 2018 annual filing, subscriptions grew only 26% year over year in Q4 2018, compared to 47% year over year in Q4 2017. Amazon, which announced that Prime Membership had reached 100 million accounts in April 2018, raised annual prices from $99 to $119 the following month—not a good combination if subscription activity is declining.
  • Amazon’s latest filing also mentioned counterfeit products for the first time. Fake products have increasingly plagued third-party vendors on the ecommerce site, despite the retailer’s crackdowns. In Q4 2018, Amazon announced that products from merchants made up 52% of all products sold, making fake products a big issue as the number of third-party vendors continues to rise.
  • At Sundance Film Festival, Amazon spent a historic $46 million purchasing the distribution rights to various films. Along with Netflix, both companies are competing for greater prestige in the industry, but have been more focused on producing their own content, making Amazon’s shopping spree a surprise.