In its 10 year Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studios have seen their most successful quarter — streaming hours grew more than 70% YoY as over 175 million Prime members streamed content on the platform in the year gone by. This was revealed when Amazon.com announced its financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2021.
Jeff, Amazon founder and CEO, said, “Two of our kids are now 10 and 15 years old—and after years of being nurtured, they’re growing up fast and coming into their own.
“As Prime Video turns 10, over 175 million Prime members have streamed shows and movies in the past year, and streaming hours are up more than 70% year over year.
“Amazon Studios received a record 12 Academy Award nominations and two wins. Upcoming originals include Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, The Tomorrow War, The Underground Railroad, and much more.”
Speaking about AWS, Bezoz said, “In just 15 years, AWS has become a $54 billion annual sales run rate business competing against the world’s largest technology companies, and its growth is accelerating—up 32% year over year.
“Companies from Airbnb to McDonald’s to Volkswagen come to AWS because we offer what is by far the broadest set of tools and services available, and we continue to invent relentlessly on their behalf. We love Prime Video and AWS, and we’re proud to have them in the family”
- This quarter marked Amazon Studios’ most successful awards season to date and the first time a streaming service has won a best picture Golden Globe award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Original titles earned 10 Golden Globe nominations and three awards for Small Axe (Supporting Actor John Boyega) and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Best Picture Musical/Comedy and Best Actor Musical/Comedy). Amazon Studios also earned 12 Academy Award nominations, a record for the studio, across four films: One Night in Miami…, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Time, and Sound of Metal, which won two awards (Best Sound and Best Film Editing).
- Coming 2 America launched worldwide on Prime Video, becoming the #1 streamed movie its opening weekend and the #1 opening weekend for a streamed movie this year according to Screen Engine/ASI. Regina King’s feature directorial debut One Night in Miami… also launched to critical acclaim, receiving numerous accolades, including a Critics’ Choice Award as well as Golden Globe, SAG, and Oscar nominations. In addition, new Amazon Original Invincible premiered to praise from TV critics, and Prime Video debuted Local Originals The Stand (Canada), Guerra de Likes (Mexico), The Great Escapists (UK), La Templanza (Spain), and We Children from Bahnhof Zoo (Germany).
- Amazon Studios continues to invest in diverse creators and content. This quarter, Amazon Studios announced new series for Prime Video, including a Mr. and Mrs. Smith remake created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Donald Glover, as well as a young adult series The Summer I Turned Pretty from writer Jenny Han. The studio also announced that the sci-fi action film The Tomorrow War from Skydance Media starring Chris Pratt will premiere on July 2.
- Amazon announced that Prime Video will become the exclusive home for Thursday Night Football beginning in 2023—making Prime Video the first streaming service to secure an exclusive national broadcast package from the NFL. The 10-year deal gives tens of millions of U.S. Prime members exclusive access to must-watch live football on Prime Video and also expands the Thursday Night Football package from 11 to 15 regular-season games.
- Amazon, the New York Yankees, and YES Network announced 21 regular-season games will stream on Prime Video in 2021. All games will be available to stream throughout New York State, Connecticut, northeast Pennsylvania, and north and central New Jersey at no additional cost to Prime members. All Yankees games on Prime Video this season will feature Amazon’s exclusive X-Ray technology, which gives real-time access to live in-game stats, team and player details, and real-time play-by-play information. In addition, Prime Video will air a new 15-minute pregame show ahead of the first pitch for every Prime Video broadcast.
- The Live Sports offering for Prime Video continues to grow internationally. In the first quarter, Prime Video broadcast five additional Premier League football matches in the UK. Prime Video also kicked off 2021 coverage of the ATP and WTA Tour tennis tournaments, including exclusive coverage of the Miami Open. In Australia, Prime Video announced an exclusive, two-year, live broadcast streaming deal to distribute the Australian Swimming championship events globally on Prime Video at no additional cost to Prime members.
- Amazon Music continues to expand its international reach of podcasts, launching localized offerings in France, Italy, Spain, and India for customers across all streaming tiers, at no additional cost. Amazon Music also announced the integration of artist merchandise into the Amazon Music app, providing a new shopping experience for music fans. Customers can now shop a curated, Prime-eligible selection of artist merchandise while listening to their favorite music, uninterrupted.
Amazon Devices and Services
- Amazon introduced the next generation of Echo Buds, featuring an all-new design, premium audio, custom-designed Active Noise Cancellation technology, wireless charging capabilities, improved microphones, and hands-free access to Alexa.
- Amazon announced Build It, a new Day 1 Editions program that gives customers a say in the devices Amazon builds next. The first wave of concepts included a Smart Sticky Note Printer, a Smart Nutrition Scale, and a Smart Cuckoo Clock. In just three days, the Smart Sticky Note Printer hit its pre-order goal and is being built.
- Amazon announced new Alexa features, such as Music Sharing with Alexa, which allows users to share songs with friends and family who are Alexa contacts, and Alexa for Xbox, which gives U.S. and Canadian customers more ways to interact with their consoles using their voice—such as asking Alexa to download games remotely through Xbox’s Game Pass service.
- Amazon launched a new Alexa Prize TaskBot Challenge, in which university teams will compete to develop conversational AI agents to help customers complete tasks requiring multiple steps and decisions. It is the first conversational AI challenge to incorporate multimodal—voice and vision—customer experiences.
- As part of the Fairness in AI program, the National Science Foundation and Amazon announced the next cohort of 37 researchers focused on 11 projects covering a range of topics, including: theoretical and algorithmic foundations; principles for human interaction with AI systems; technologies such as natural language understanding and computer vision; and applications including hiring decisions, education, criminal justice, and human services.
- Ring introduced Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 and Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, both featuring 3D Motion Detection and Bird’s Eye View powered by radar technology. Ring also announced several other products and features, including Ring Video Doorbell 4, Smart Responses and Geofence for compatible devices, and Ring Alarm (2nd Gen) for the UK and Europe.
- Amazon launched the Alexa Built-in experience in Lamborghini’s Huracán EVO, the first vehicle to offer online car control capabilities with Alexa embedded. Amazon also launched the first application of the Alexa Connected Vehicle Skills API with Nissan, and Garmin announced it is the first Tier 1 automotive supplier to integrate Alexa Custom Assistant in its In-Vehicle Infotainment systems. Jeep announced Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models will be the first to launch Fire TV for Auto, an on-the-go entertainment experience.
Amazon Web Services
- AWS announced significant customer momentum, with new commitments and migrations from customers spanning many major industries.
- In telecommunications, DISH is leveraging AWS’s advanced, reliable, and secure infrastructure to build a cloud-based, 5G Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) to deliver consistent, cost-effective performance from the cloud to the edge of the network.
- The media and entertainment industry continues to move to AWS at a rapid pace with The Walt Disney Company working with AWS on the expansion of Disney+ to more than 100 million subscribers around the world.
- Some of the world’s most renowned sports leagues are choosing AWS as their technology provider to transform the fan experience. For example, the National Hockey League (NHL) uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other AWS technologies to create new viewing experiences and in-depth stats and analytics, and the PGA TOUR (TOUR) uses AWS cloud and machine learning technologies to transform the way golf content is created, distributed, and experienced. The German Bundesliga, Germany’s top national football league, uses AWS to power three new Bundesliga Match Facts to give fans deeper insights into action on the pitch, while Formula 1 (F1) uses a range of AWS technologies, including machine learning, for six new F1 Insights for the 2021 season that help motor racing fans understand the strategy of their favorite driver.
- Automotive companies continue to choose AWS to support the development of their next-generation vehicles. Continental, one of the world’s largest automotive parts manufacturers, announced they are collaborating with AWS to develop the Continental Automotive Edge Platform (CAEdge), which will allow automakers to develop, deploy, and manage code to run connected and autonomous vehicles. In addition, AWS and Torc Robotics, a subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG, are collaborating to scale an autonomous truck development platform in the cloud so that Torc Robotics can accelerate testing and commercialization of autonomous driving technology. And ABB announced a collaboration with AWS to create a cloud-based fleet management system for electric vehicles, helping companies accelerate electrification of their fleets while maintaining business continuity.
- AWS announced the launch of a second full region in Japan—the AWS Asia Pacific (Osaka) Region—which is an expansion of the existing AWS Osaka Local Region. The new region consists of three Availability Zones (AZs) and joins the existing 25 Availability Zones in eight AWS Regions across Asia Pacific in Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Ningxia, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo. Globally, AWS has 80 Availability Zones across 25 geographic regions, with plans to launch 15 more Availability Zones and five more AWS Regions in Australia, India, Indonesia, Spain, and Switzerland.
- AWS and Red Hat announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA), a new managed service that makes it easier for Red Hat OpenShift customers to build, scale, and manage containerized applications on AWS. With ROSA, customers can enjoy more simplified Kubernetes cluster creation without the burden of manually scaling and managing the underlying infrastructure. ROSA streamlines moving on-premises Red Hat OpenShift workloads to AWS and offers a tighter integration with other AWS technologies.
- AWS announced the general availability of AQUA (Advanced Query Accelerator) for Amazon Redshift, an innovative new distributed and hardware-accelerated cache that delivers up to ten times better query performance than other cloud data warehouses. AQUA brings compute to the storage layer, helping customers avoid networking bandwidth limitations by eliminating unnecessary data movement between where data is stored and compute clusters. With AQUA, customers have more up-to-date dashboards, save development time, and their systems are easier to maintain.
- AWS announced the general availability of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) X2gd instances, the next generation of advanced, memory-optimized instances powered by AWS-designed, Arm-based Graviton2 processors. New X2gd instances deliver up to 55% better price/performance compared to current generation x86-based X1 instances, while also offering increased memory per vCPU compared to other Graviton2-based instances. Together, the higher performance and additional memory of X2gd instances make it possible for customers to more efficiently run memory intensive workloads like in-memory databases, relational databases, electronic design automation (EDA) workloads, real-time analytics, and real-time caching servers.
- AWS announced Amazon Lookout for Equipment, a new service that uses AWS-developed machine learning models to help customers perform predictive maintenance on the equipment in their facilities. Amazon Lookout for Equipment ingests sensor data from a customer’s industrial equipment (e.g., pressure, flow rate, RPMs, temperature, and power), and then trains a unique machine learning model to accurately predict early warning signs of machine failure or suboptimal performance using real-time data streams from the customer’s equipment. With Amazon Lookout for Equipment, customers can detect abnormalities with speed and precision, quickly diagnose issues, reduce false alerts, and avoid expensive downtime by taking action before machine failures occur.
- AWS announced the general availability of Amazon Lookout for Vision, a service that analyzes images using computer vision and sophisticated machine learning capabilities to spot product or process defects and anomalies. By employing advanced machine learning techniques, Amazon Lookout for Vision is able to train a model using as few as 30 images, which can help detect manufacturing and production defects (e.g., cracks, dents, incorrect color, irregular shape, etc.) in their products and prevent costly errors from progressing down an operational line and reaching customers.
- AWS announced the general availability of Amazon Lookout for Metrics, a new fully managed machine learning service that helps customers monitor the most important metrics for their business (e.g., revenue, web page views, active users, transaction volume, and mobile app installations) with greater speed and accuracy. The service also makes it easier to diagnose the root cause of anomalies like unexpected dips in revenue, high rates of abandoned shopping carts, spikes in payment transaction failures, increases in new user sign-ups, and more.
- AWS announced new Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) One Zone storage classes that reduce storage costs by 47%, compared to existing Amazon EFS storage classes, while delivering the same features and benefits. One Zone storage classes redundantly store data within a single Availability Zone (AZ). These are ideal for customers who want cost-optimized file storage for workloads and applications (e.g., content management, developer applications, etc.) that do not require the level of availability and durability offered by regional Amazon EFS storage classes, which redundantly store data across multiple geographically separated AZs.