Amazon surpassed Wall Street’s expectations in its Q1 2021 earnings report, which included a rare spotlight on the company’s film and television assets.
The ecommerce company, which owns Amazon Prime Video, typically does not emphasize its streaming portfolio or Amazon Studio’s work during its quarterly earnings report. That wasn’t the case during the company’s Thursday presentation, where Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is expected to step down as CEO in Q3, praised Prime Video’s viewership successes during the last year.
“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 percent year over year,” Bezos said in the company’s Q1 earnings press release.
Prime Video’s films and television shows are available to all Amazon Prime subscribers. Though Amazon is primarily an ecommerce business, the company has made significant headway in the film and television space over the last few years. The company noted that Amazon Studios received 12 Academy Award nominations and two wins. (“Sound of Metal,” which received a laudatory review from IndieWire’s Eric Kohn, won Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.) Amazon Studios also received Academy Award nominations for “One Night in Miami” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”
The company also teased several upcoming originals, including “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse,” “The Tomorrow War,” and Barry Jenkins’ upcoming “The Underground Railroad,” the latter of which will premiere May 14 on Prime Video. Like Netflix, Amazon is beginning to invest more in international content; the company highlighted several of its non-American titles, including Canada’s “The Stand,” Mexico’s “Guerra de Likes,” the United Kingdom’s “The Great Escapists,” Spain’s “La Templanza,” and Germany’s “We Children from Bahnhof Zoo.”
Prime Video is also positioning itself to become a key player in sports programming. Prime Video will become the exclusive home for Thursday Night Football beginning in 2023. The 10-year deal makes Prime Video the first streaming service to secure an exclusive national broadcast package from the NFL, after streaming select games, in addition to their network broadcasts, over the past few years.
As for Amazon’s earnings, the company reported earnings of $15.79 per share, exceeding analyst expectations of $9.54 per share, per data from Refinitiv obtained by CNBC. The company’s revenue also exceeded expectations; Amazon reported $108.52 billion in revenue versus expectations of $104.47 billion, per Refinitiv data. The company’s stock was up around 3 percent at press time.
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