Posts Tagged ‘Brian Olsavsky’

AWS Continues Strong Growth and Margin Expansion in Q2

Analysis, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Quarterly Results | Posted by Josh Stinehour
Aug 11 2016

Amazon reported results for the second quarter of 2016.  Since the first quarter of 2015, Amazon has been reporting the individual results of Amazon Web Services (AWS).  AWS had revenue of $2.88 billion in the quarter, a 58% increase over the year-earlier quarter, and an increase of 12.4% against the preceding quarter, Q1 2016.  For the trailing twelve months ending in the second quarter AWS generated $9.9 billion in revenue.  Amazon_AWS_Logo

AWS represented 9.5% of Amazon’s total sales for the quarter, an increase from the 7.8% contribution for Q1 2015, and an increase from the 8% contribution in Q1 2016.

While AWS represented 9.5% of sales from Amazon in the quarter, it contributed 56% of Amazon’s total operating income.  Operating income for the quarter was $718 million, a 135% year-over-year increase, and an 18.8% increase over the first quarter.

Operating margins for AWS in the quarter were 24.8%, a substantial increase over the 16.7% operating margins during Q2 2015, and an increase over the 23.5% margins in Q1 2016. The reporting of operating income includes a burden for stock-based compensation.  The margin expansion is reflecting efficiencies from AWS ever-growing infrastructure.

The reported revenue for AWS consists of the more than 70 services now offered from the AWS platform across including the sales of compute, storage, and database.  Amazon does not specifically address how much AWS revenue was attributable to the media industry.  However, the AWS figures are a great data point for better understanding the broader adoption of cloud services.

Speaking at the 2016 NAB Show Cloud Innovation Conference, Bhavik Vyas Global Alliance & Segment Leader in Media & Entertainment for AWS, offered several examples of media companies using AWS infrastructure for media operations.  The below slide is from Mr. Vyas’s presentation.

Bhavik-slide

 

The below chart from Amazon’s Q2 2016 earnings presentation illustrates the growth of revenue and operating income for AWS over the past year.

AWS-slide

Management attributed the growth in AWS revenue and profitability to increased customer usage and cost structure productivity.  This was partially offset by continued pricing decreases and increased spending on technology infrastructure.

Operating margins don’t capture the cash flow impact of capital expenditures and payments attributable to the financing of equipment for AWS, which is not disclosed directly.  It is a very capital intensive business.

Additional information from Amazon’s filings are illustrative of the significant level of investment in technology infrastructure attributed to AWS.  The Company’s total capital expenditures (cash) were $1.7 billion during the quarter, an increase of 42% versus both year-earlier period and the preceding quarter.  According to Amazon’s SEC filings, “This primarily reflects additional investments in support of continued business growth due to investments in technology infrastructure (the majority of which is to support AWS) and additional capacity to support our fulfillment operations.”

Cash capital expenditures do not account for property and equipment acquired under capital lease obligation (non-balance sheet items).  Property and equipment acquired under capital leases were $1.4 billion in Q2 2016, flat versus Q2 2015, and an increase of 60% against Q1 2016. Amazon attributes this spend to “investments in support of continued business growth primarily due to investments in technology infrastructure for AWS.”

On Amazon’s call with earnings analyst, Brian Olsavsky, SVP and Chief Financial Officer, responded to a question on the market rates of cloud adoption as follows, “We think still very early. Again, we like our position, our industry leading position in the cloud space, and we’re working on things that would incent more and more customers to accelerate their cloud conversion. The lower prices and services that we offer, and as I said, we’ll work on things that will make it easier and easier for customers to work with us with their hybrid data centers or transfer their volume to us.”

 

Related Content:

Press Release: Amazon Q2 2016 Earnings

Presentation: Amazon Q2 2016 Earnings

 

 

© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2016. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

AWS is now a $10 Billion Annual Revenue Business

Analysis, Broadcast technology vendor financials | Posted by Josh Stinehour
May 02 2016

Amazon reported results for the first quarter of 2016.  Since the first quarter of 2015, Amazon has been reporting the individual results of Amazon Web Services (AWS).  Based on Q1 2016 figures, AWS is now a $10 billion run-rate revenue business with a trailing twelve month operating income of nearly $2 billion.

The reported revenue for AWS consists of the more than 70 services now offered from the AWS platform including the sales of compute, storage, and database.  Amazon does not specifically address how much AWS revenue was attributable to the media industry.  However, the AWS figures are an informative data point for better understanding the broader adoption of cloud services.

For the three months ended March 31, 2016 AWS had revenue of $2.6 billion, a 64% increase over the first quarter of 2015.  AWS represented 8% of Amazon’s sales for the quarter, an increase from the 6% contribution for Q1 2015.

AWS operating income for Q1 2016 was $604 million, which was a 210% year-over-year increase versus the first quarter in 2015.  During the quarter AWS actually generated more operating income than all of Amazon’s other business lines – both on an individual and aggregate basis.

Operating margins for AWS in the quarter were 23.5%, a substantial increase over the 12.4% operating margins during Q1 2015. The reporting of operating income now includes a burden for stock-based compensation (this lowered operating margins versus historical reporting).

Management attributed the growth in AWS revenue and profitability to increased customer usage and cost structure productivity.  This was partially offset by continued pricing decreases and increased spending on technology infrastructure.

The below chart from Amazon’s Q1 2016 earnings presentation illustrates the growth of revenue and operating income for AWS over the past year.

 

AWS-Results

 

Operating incomes doesn’t capture the cash flow impact of capital expenditures and payments attributable to the financing of equipment for AWS, which is not disclosed directly.  It is a capital intensive business.

Additional information from Amazon’s filings are illustrative of the significant level of investment in technology infrastructure attributed to AWS.  The Company’s total capital expenditures (cash) were $1.2 billion in Q1 2016, a 38% increase over Q1 2015. According to Amazon’s SEC filings, “This primarily reflects additional investments in support of continued business growth due to investments in technology infrastructure (the majority of which is to support AWS) and additional capacity to support our fulfillment operations.”

Cash capital expenditures do not account for property and equipment acquired under capital lease obligation (non-balance sheet items).  Property and equipment acquired under capital leases were $875 million in Q1 2016, an 8% decrease over Q1 2015. A majority of this spend is due to investments in technology infrastructure for AWS.

On Amazon’s call with earnings analyst, Brian Olsavsky, SVP and Chief Financial Officer, stated the combined total of capital expenditures and capital lease obligations was $9.5 billion in the trailing 12 month period.  AWS is the largest driver of this spend, but does not consume all of this number

AWS specifically and cloud vendors more broadly, are benefiting from a secular trend toward cloud usage among media and entertainment sector.  As cloud providers replace the capital expenditures of media customers, there are significant implications for technology vendors and service providers.  The $9.5 billion figure (noted above) is equivalent to almost half of all annual product sales in the media and broadcast technology sector based on the latest results of the IABM DC Global Market Valuation Report (www.iabmdc.com).

The adoption of cloud infrastructure in the media industry is not necessarily a negative development for the technology vendor community.  AWS views its services as unburdening organizations from the undifferentiated heavy lifting of technology deployments.  In this way, AWS is allowing media customers and media technology suppliers to focus on the aspects of their businesses differentiating their products and services to customers.

Moving to cloud infrastructure does necessarily require new technology architectures, revenue models, and operating structures.  These topics were discussed extensively during the recent Media Technology Business Summit at the 2016 NAB Show including a keynote from AWS titled, “’All In’: Cloud Transformation of the Media Industry.”  If you haven’t downloaded our slides from the event, a complimentary copy is available from the following link.

While Amazon does not disclose specific AWS numbers in the media vertical, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos did note a high-profile media customer in his annual letter to shareholders (excerpt below).

“MLB Advanced Media is an example of an AWS customer that is constantly reinventing the customer experience. MLB’s Statcast tracking technology is a new feature for baseball fans that measures the position of each player, the baserunners, and the ball as they move during every play on the field, giving viewers on any screen access to empirical data that answers age-old questions like ‘what could have happened if…’ while also bringing new questions to life. Turning baseball into rocket science, Statcast uses a missile radar system to measure every pitched ball’s movements more than 2,000 times per second, streams and collects data in real-time through Amazon Kinesis (our service for processing real-time streaming data), stores the data on Amazon S3, and then performs analytics in Amazon EC2. The suite of services will generate nearly 7 TB of raw statistical data per game and up to 17 PB per season, shedding quantitative light on age-old, but never verified, baseball pearls of wisdom like ‘never slide into first.’”

 

Related Content:

Presentation: Q1 2016 Amazon Earnings Presentation

Press Release: Q1 2016 Amazon Earnings Press Release

SEC Filing: Q1 2016 Amazon SEC Filing

 

 

© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2016. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

As Media Companies Increase Cloud and IAAS Deployments, Amazon Reveals Scale of AWS

Analysis | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 28 2015

In a change that provides increased visibility into its cloud business, Amazon.com now breaks out the performance of Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a separate segment in its quarterly financial reporting.

This is a significant development for the media technology sector because AWS has become synonymous with discussions of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and public cloud usage by media companies.  The topic has matured in the past few years and is now a central part of future technology strategies at media organizations.

However, Amazon  did not specifically address how much AWS revenue was attributable to the media industry.

Amazon reported that AWS revenue in the first quarter of 2015 was $1.57 billion, up 49% versus the same period a year ago. The reported figures for AWS consist of sales of compute, storage, database, and other AWS service offerings across all customer verticals.

AWS operating income in the first quarter of 2015 was $265m (a 16.9% operating margin), up 8% versus the same period a year ago. Excluding the favorable impact from foreign exchange, AWS segment operating income decreased 13%.

 

Amazon AWS Q1 2015 TTM Revenue and Operating Income - with source

 

In a letter to shareholders, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said AWS is “a $5 billion business and still growing fast — in fact it’s accelerating.”

Management attributed the growth to a rise in customer usage, though partially offset by reduction in pricing to customers.

The impact of pricing decreases is material.  AWS disclosed ‘usage’ growth in the fourth quarter of 2014 of 90% year-over-year. Though not a like-for-like comparison, it is a directional guidance for the gap between usage and revenue caused by pricing decreases.

 

Amazon Q1 2015 AWS Segment Results

 

On the company’s earnings call, Amazon SVP and CFO Tom Szkutak highlighted how the company continues to drive down the cost of AWS, saying “In terms of AWS, we’ve had 48 price decreases since inception. The team is doing a terrific job in terms of working on behalf of customers to pass on savings as they see it. So our model over the long-term really has been to innovate and to use our scale and position to be able to pass savings along to customers.”

For the first quarter of 2015, AWS contributed approximately 7% of the Company’s total revenue.  This was an increase versus the 5% of revenue AWS represented during the first quarter of 2014.  Despite representing only 7% of Amazon’s revenue, AWS contributed almost 38% of the Company’s operating income.  This is because AWS is a meaningfully more profitable business than Amazon’s traditional online retail operations.  AWS operating margins were nearly 17% in Q1 2015, which compares favorably to Amazon’s other businesses that in aggregate had operating margins of 2% during the first quarter.  A focus on operating margins ignores the interest expense attributable to the financing of equipment for AWS, which is not disclosed.

Even though growth was substantial at AWS during 2015, there is some curiosity around how the business scaled.  While revenue increased by 49%, operating income increased only 8% since operating expenses increased 61% over the same period.  The Company attributed the expense offset to investments in technology infrastructure to support business growth.  Some caution is necessary before drawing broader conclusions on how the business will scale since we have only limited data points at this time.

Additional disclosures in Amazon’s filings are illustrative of the level of investment in technology infrastructure.  The Company’s capital expenditures (cash) were $871 million in Q1 2015 and $1.1 billion in Q1 2014. A majority of this investment was attributable to AWS.  Property and equipment acquired under capital leases (non-balance sheet items) were $954 million in Q1 2015 and $716 million during Q1 2014. Again, the investments are primarily due to investments in technology infrastructure for AWS.

Discussing the ongoing investment required for the AWS business, Szkutak told analysts “from our perspective its business that’s still really in day one. A lot of potential innovation in front of us we believe. And so you can see we’re putting a lot of CapEx obviously there and including capital leases and we think over time we will be able to generate significant free cash flow with stronger ROICs.”

Whatever percentage a majority represents the resulting aggregate investment is considerable.  Media companies leveraging AWS are benefiting from a technology infrastructure built by investments made possible from expansive operations in other industries.  To put the scale of Amazon’s infrastructure in context to the media technology sector, consider the Company’s 2014 cash capital expenditures and equipment purchases under capital leases totaled a combined $8.9 billion (AWS is the largest driver of this spend, but does not consume all of this number).  This figure represents approximately one-third of all annual product sales in the media and broadcast technology sector based on the latest results of the IABM DC Global Market Valuation Report (www.iabmdc.com).

In his shareholder letter, Bezos said that even though AWS is highly capital-intensive, it is far less capital-intensive than the model it’s replacing.  Bezos cites utilization rates for internal data centers as almost always below 20%.  By aggregating workloads across customers AWS can then achieve much higher utilization rates and correspondingly improved capital efficiency.

This point was highlighted on the earnings call by Brian Olsavsky, VP and CFO of Amazon’s global consumer business, who said “It’s probably is worth adding that, although prices are factor, the primary factor for customers choosing with AWS is really around their ability to move quickly and to be nimble and agile. And so we’re very pleased with the kind of continued adoption and usage growth we’ve seen and obviously the benefits of AWS around their ability — customer’s ability — to be nimble as a primary factor.

CFO Szkutak added that the 48 price decreases since the launch of AWS is “one factor customers save a lot of money, but the primary motivator is really around the innovation that AWS enables and the ability for developers to move really quickly.”

Speed and agility are increasingly important to media companies, yet the specialized technology products used in media workflows often have low utilization rates – especially those used for certain types of news and sports applications.  In an environment where media companies are focused on greater efficiencies in technology infrastructure, improving these rates are a natural place to start.

The amount of revenue attributable to media and entertainment use cases is left to the imagination.  Amazon has stated publicly AWS has more than a million active customers.  Companies using AWS range across all sizes and business segment.  Media and entertainment examples include Netflix, Major League Baseball, PBS, and News Corp. During his fireside chat keynote at Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology” the annual conference co-produced by Devoncroft and organizers of the NAB Show, Bob Bowman President of MLB Advanced Media had high praise for AWS as a technology supplier.

To Amazon’s credit, the company participates at industry exhibitions including the recent NAB Show and the team is similarly visible at other industry events.  We are evangelists for broader IT vendors engaging with the industry vendor community and customer community.  Such focus has proven episodic from many large IT vendors historically, so it will be interesting to track Amazon’s engagement with interested parties in the sector going forward – a $5 billion business has many distractions.

AWS specifically and cloud vendors more broadly, are benefiting from a secular trend toward cloud usage among media and entertainment sector.  Included below is a slide taken from a Devoncroft presentation at the recent NAB Show; it offers context on the adoption of cloud by media companies. One of the benefits of having seven years of Big Broadcast Survey data is the ability to reflect on year-over-year trend information – even if the data is in the form of broadcaster commentary.  As illustrated in the below, the ‘cloud’ benefited from an embrace by technology purchasers during the 2013 calendar year.

cloud evolution

 

This increasing adoption and deployment of cloud technologies and services is in stark contrast with perspectives provided only a few years earlier.

Of course, any discussion of Cloud naturally transitions to a discussion of security given the recent high-profile security breaches.  We heard this multiple times from at the recent 2015 NAB Show during conversations with major media companies, broadcasters, and service providers.

Security of media assets in the cloud was also an important topic at “Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology” the annual conference co-produced by Devoncroft and organizers of the NAB Show. During a panel session featuring senior technology buyers from major North American media companies, it was observed by participants that businesses such as AWS are likely spending far more time, money, and resources on security than even the largest stand-alone media company could muster.

Whether such logic is extensible will translate into a shift of media infrastructure to public cloud providers such as AWS remains to be seen.

Our research shows that while many in the media industry are using AWS today for a variety of tasks, most high value content is currently being managed via private cloud implementations.

An interesting data point on the subject of private versus public cloud adoption in media was offered by Avid CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. at the Jefferies Growth Conference earlier this year.  While describing how the company’s licensing models are evolving at different customer types, Hernandez said “Our large enterprise clients are sticking with on premise [implementations]… [they] are moving to a floating license and flexing in a pre-negotiated subscription on a project basis. Who’s buying cloud and subscriptions? Individuals.”

Nevertheless, AWS is a formidable business.  Amazon’s ability to continually invest the huge sums needed to greater compute, network, and storage performance at ever-lower prices can undoubtedly drive increased efficiencies for media companies.  Thus the market potential for AWS in the media space is potentially vast.  In his letter to shareholders, Jeff Bezos summed up as follows, “I believe AWS is one of those dreamy business offerings that can be serving customers and earning financial returns for many years into the future…I believe AWS is market-size unconstrained.”

 

 

Related Content:

Press Release: Amazon.com Announces First Quarter Sales Up 15% to $22.72 Billion

Q1 2015 Amazon.com, Inc. Earnings Conference Call Slides

Amazon Q1 2015 Form 10-Q Filing

Amazon.com Q1 2015 Letter to Shareholders

Industry Thought Leaders to Discuss “Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology” at 2015 NAB Show

 

© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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