Online marketplace Amazon
While audiences continue to forgo traditional cable companies to watch television online, there are few mainstream options to choose from that offer a complete Live TV experience over the internet. Many networks offer live streaming services in select markets across the United States, but there has yet to be a service that has aggregated these streams. Amazon hopes to change this by licensing streams from some of the United States' biggest networks like CBS
These efforts come on the heels of an Amazon-created controversy when the retailer announced that it would stop sales of Apple TV and Google Chromecast on its online marketplace, largely because Amazon's Prime Instant Streaming service is not easily available on either device. Amazon released a statement that argued its position with, "It's important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion"-yet it still sells other lesser-known devices that don't support its native streaming service. With many outraged and puzzled about the move, it seems that Amazon is taking a strong stance against some of its biggest rivals, perhaps in anticipation for the launch of its live streaming service.
Beyond streaming television, the company opened the "Handmade at Amazon" marketplace last week with over 80,000 items from 5,000 sellers across 60 countries in another aggressive move that this time challenges another online retailer, Etsy
In addition to Amazon's massive base of 285 million customers that dwarfs Etsy's 22 million, the company is allowing sellers to ship their products in mass to one of their distribution centers and Amazon will ship out each individual purchase. But one major downside is that while Etsy's fees include a 20-cent per item and a 3.5 percent cut of the sales, Amazon is taking 12 percent of sales. Whether the advantages outweigh the extra fee is yet to be seen, but Amazon is certainly positioning itself to appeal to a wide-range of Etsy's producers.
Over the past few months Amazon has made a number of surprisingly aggressive moves to grow its brand and customer base. And with its stock price hovering around $545 compared to last year's $305, it seems to be on a large expansion in hopes of capturing a chunk of the share in several of the most lucrative markets.