Archive for April, 2016

It’s In The Clouds, Stupid!

April 29, 2016 Leave a comment


The New York Times

Friday, April 29, 2016

Daily Report
Ten years ago last March, Amazon started the era of renting data storage and computing over the Internet, what is now known as cloud computing. On Thursday, Amazon showed how critical it is to the retailer’s future.
As Nick Wingfield writes, the Seattle-based Internet retailer reported net income of $513 million, a great showing for a company with thin profit margins that often reports losses.
The star of the show was Amazon Web Services, or AWS, that cloud business. Amazon breaks out that sector from the rest of its business, and it makes for impressive reading: Operating income as a percentage of sales for Amazon’s retail business was 3 percent; for AWS it was 24 percent.
AWS is still a relatively small part of the company’s total business, but that outsize profitability is reshaping Amazon. Over all, the company’s operating income is 3.6 percent of revenue, but that is up from 1.1 percent a year ago. A big reason is that AWS has doubled its profitability.
The effect of new, cloud-based businesses is everywhere in tech this earnings season, from Intel cutting 12,000 jobs as it reorients itself from personal computers to the cloud, to Microsoft reporting lower profits, but investors buying the stock on word of growth in its cloud business, which is similar to AWS.
Cloud computing makes a lot of money in part by automating things: A large data center, supplying potentially thousands of customers, may be run by just a half-dozen people. The people engineering these systems have become very clever about running them efficiently too, devising special semiconductors and software.
Google and Facebook are also cloud-based companies, though for now they get most of their money from advertising.
As we near the end of the tech earnings season, it is useful to look at net income earned per employee at the company. Microsoft had profits of about $32,200 per person in the quarter, a healthy performance considering how many employees it still has in older businesses. It came in just ahead of Goldman Sachs, on a profit per employee basis.
Google was twice that, however, at $65,600 per employee. Facebook, which had a great quarter came in tops, at $115,000.
There are two more, both largely sellers of retail products to consumers. Apple, which had its first quarter with lower earnings in 13 years, still managed to make $105,000 per person. At the other end of the spectrum was Amazon, earning just $2,092.
There are two lessons from that: If you do sell retail products, it helps to sell highly profitable fetish objects, like iPhones — which, not incidentally, have a lot of value because of the cloud-based apps running on them.
And if you are selling bargain retail, it’s a very good idea to be in the cloud computing business, too. — Quentin Hardy
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eMarketer Roundup: Optimizing Mobile Advertising

April 28, 2016 Leave a comment
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SOURCING JOURNAL PRESENTS: Regulation Education Workshop

April 28, 2016 Leave a comment


SOURCING JOURNAL PRESENTS: Regulation Education Workshop
Confused about conflict minerals or Prop 65? Need an update on children’s product safety? Or a lesson in Made in USA labeling?Sourcing Journal is hosting an educational workshop, “Regulation Education” on June 15 in NYC, to provide insight on the manifold elements of maintaining compliance. Join us for a half-day workshop to learn how to adhere to regulations for Conflict Minerals, Made in USA labeling, Children’s Product Safety and Prop 65, plus get up to speed on the latest changes to the rules.

Before the half day is up, you’ll have an understanding of the Conflict Minerals section of the Dodd-Frank Act, know how to properly test and adhere to required chemical and labeling regulations, and be well aware of the ramifications for non-compliance–key in today’s world where compliance is ever-more paramount to business success.

Speakers include:
Barbara Jones, Attorney, GT Law – Conflict Minerals
David Callet, Attorney, Callet Law LLC – Children’s Product Safety Act
James Kohm, Attorney, Federal Trade Commission – Made in USA Labeling
Ben Mead, Managing Director USA, Hohenstein – California Prop 65

WHEN: June 15, 2016
TIME: 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: LIM College Townhouse, 12 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022

For more information, visit our event page or contact Tara Donaldson.

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April 28, 2016 Leave a comment
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Introducing Filestack’s File Exporter

April 28, 2016 Leave a comment


Using Filestack’s Export widget, you can turn any <button>, <input type=”button”>, or <a> tag into a cloud-enabled save button, so your users can save files to Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive and more for future use. Exporting content via a responsive modal is a must for mobile applications, where the local filesystems are essentially black holes.
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Featured Customer – Tilt

Tilt increases engagement on crowdfunding “tilts” by encouraging users to upload images and gifs from social media using Filestack’s scalable file infrastructure.
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NBCUniversal Buys DreamWorks

April 28, 2016 Leave a comment


Acquisiton will build on NBCUniversal’s presence in the family and animation space.

NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast and the world’s No. 11 licensor, has acquired DreamWorks Animation (the world’s No. 18 licensor) for approximately $3.8 billion.

As part of the transaction, DreamWorks will become part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures, Fandago and NBCUniversal Brand Development.

Top licensor rankings are based on License! Global’s exclusive Top 150 Global Licensors report, which will be released in the May issue next week. In 2015, NBCUniversal reported $4.5 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise, while DreamWorks brought in $3.3 billion.

Following the transaction, DreamWorks chief executive officer and co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg will become chairman of DreamWorks New Media, which will be comprised of the company’s ownership interests in AwesomenessTV and NOVA. He will also serve as a consultant to NBCUniversal.

The acquisition will give NBCUniversal a boarder reach to new audiences in the competitive kids and family entertainment space with DreamWorks’ franchises such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, among others. Additionally, DreamWorks Classics properties such as Where’s Waldo and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will also become part of the NBCUniversal portfolio, as well as DreamWorks’ consumer products business.

NBCUniversal, which already has a strong lineup of kids and family entertainment properties, will also be able to bolster its current offerings–which include Despicable Me, Minions, Jurassic World and its upcoming film, The Secret Life of Pets.

“DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to NBCUniversal,” says Steve Burke, chief executive officer, NBCUniversal. “Jeffrey Katzenberg and the DreamWorks organization have created a dynamic film brand and a deep library of intellectual property. DreamWorks will help us grow our film, television, theme parks and consumer products businesses for years to come. We have enjoyed extraordinary success over the last six years in animation with the emergence of Illumination Entertainment and its brilliant team at Illumination Mac Guff studio. The prospects for our future together are tremendous. We are fortunate to have Illumination founder Chris Meledandri to help guide the growth of the DreamWorks Animation business in the future.”

“Having spent the past two decades working together with our team to build DreamWorks Animation into one of the world’s most beloved brands, I am proud to say that NBCUniversal is the perfect home for our company; a home that will embrace the legacy of our storytelling and grow our businesses to their fullest potential,” says Katzenberg.  “This agreement not only delivers significant value for our shareholders, but also supports NBCUniversal’s growing family entertainment business.  As for my role, I am incredibly excited to continue exploring the potential of AwesomenessTV, NOVA and other new media opportunities, and can’t wait to get started.”

DreamWorks stockholders will receive $41 in cash for each share of DreamWorks common stock.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, DreamWorks’ stock soared above the $40 mark after the announcement and Comcast’s stock also rose on Thursday and was up 0.5 percent at $61.58. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter also reports that Liongates’s stock rose more than 7 percent after the announcement.

The boards of directors at DreamWorks and Comcast have approved the transaction, and the controlling shareholder of DreamWorks approved the agreement with written consent. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

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The Art and Science of Trend Tracking

April 28, 2016 Leave a comment
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