x5: Amazon’s Plan for Brick-and-Mortar Stores, American Apparel Acquisition & More

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Amazon to open more brick-and-mortar bookstores this year

Amazon is planning to expand its brick-and-mortar business to the east coast by launching a bookstore in central Manhattan, along with four other stores in Chicago, New Jersey and Massachusetts. This is coming on the back of launches in Seattle in 2015 and San Diego and Portland in 2016.

Why This Matters

It’s evident how Amazon is integrating all aspects of its business through existing physical locations on the west coast, selling electronics like the Echo and Fire TV, having books organized to create the feel of browsing online and filling its bestseller shelves with books that are popular on Amazon.com. Most importantly, the brand is integrating Amazon Prime to give members discounts on books bought in-store. With the expansion of Amazon Books and Amazon Go in the works, the online retail giant is gearing up to put even more pressure on the industry.

 The newly-opened Amazon Books store is pictured on November 4, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The online retailer opened its first brick-and-mortar book store on November 3, 2015. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)


Verizon to close $4.83 billion deal for Yahoo

Yahoo has disclosed some details of what happens if its $4.83 billion deal with Verizon goes through. CEO Marissa Mayer and co-founder David Filo will be among the board members to resign. Yahoo’s holding company, RemainCo, will also change its name to Altaba and hold a 15% stake in Alibaba, 35% in Yahoo Japan and various patents.

Why This Matters

The Verizon deal will benefit both parties, helping them reach new audiences on a wider range of platforms. For Verizon, it means becoming one of the top mobile media companies in the world. Reaching this huge marketing will create a strong revenue stream from digital advertising. In return, Yahoo will be able to build better distribution channels. They will use these additional resources to accelerate their work in mobile, video, native advertising and social, according to Marissa Mayer.

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Facebook testing out mid-roll ads to boost video revenues

Facebook generates over 8 billion video views every day. It is now looking to take advantage of that statistic by monetizing with mid-roll commercials. This move has come in an attempt to help publishers generate ad revenue from its content. Since Facebook videos automatically play as users scroll through their feeds, the mid-roll ads will play after 20-seconds and will only appear on videos over 90-seconds long.

Why This Matters

Advertising during videos will force publishers to create more engaging content to hold user attention until the 20-second mark to capitalize on mid-roll ads. While 55% of the revenue will be shared with publishers, this move will allow Facebook to take a sizeable chunk of advertising spend from YouTube’s pockets.

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Gildan buys American Apparel for $88 million

Montreal-based Gildan Activewear has acquired American Apparel for $88 million in a bankruptcy auction. As part of the deal, Gildan will integrate the American Apparel brand and intellectual property into its business. More information about the acquisition with the next financial report.

Why This Matters

With this acquisition, Gildan will get a strong brand name that is popular among millennials and the infrastructure to create its apparel in the United States. It gives Gildan an opportunity to expand with an established premium product in a difficult fashion market.

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LiquidSky the latest company to promise video game streaming

LiquidSky is looking to roll out its cloud gaming service to the public early this year. Video game streaming has been a challenge in the past with companies struggling to manage latency issues. The company is trying to solve that problem by working with IBM’s public cloud ecosystem. It will allow people to play on a virtual high end PC regardless of their operating system or device.

Why This Matters

Over the last decade, we’ve gotten used to the idea of streaming our movies, TV shows and music. Similar ideas have been tried with gaming, but the execution has always been lacking. If LiquidSky gets it right, it could help change the face of the gaming industry. Streaming services have had a history of curbing piracy numbers, for one. It could also be a boon for the industry and gamers alike, by giving those with older machines access to a wider range of titles.

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