Amazon was already a collosal e-commerce company before the coronavirus outbreak, but the pandemic turned it into the go-to source for almost everyone on lockdown.
It’s share prices almost doubled from late 2019 to the third quarter of 2020 while more than 200,000 U.S. businesses, including many restaurants and retailers, were forced to shut their doors. Amazon’s revenue jumped 44 percent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to Q1 2020.
Netflix shares sold for around $332 on March 20, 2020, when pandemic lockdowns started driving people indoors to seek entertainment on streaming services. By November 2021, the company’s 52-week-high share price was $700.99.
Now it’s hangover time. People have resumed outdoor activities and entertainment, travel and shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
Amazon posted its first quarterly loss in seven years, losing $3.84 billion during the first quarter of 2022 after reporting a profit of $8.11 billion in the same quarter last year.
Amazon shares dropped as much as 10 percent in extended trading Thursday after a lower-than-expected revenue forecast. Revenue grew — but slower than usual — by 7 percent in Q1 2022 compared with 44 percent in Q1 2021. Amazon isn’t used to single-digit growth. This is the slowest rate per quarter since the dot-com bust in 2001.
Netflix reported losing 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 — its first subscriber loss in more than 10 years. The company forecasts a global paid subscriber loss of 2 million for the second quarter. Netflix shares were trading at $196.99 as of this writing compared to the $700+ November high.
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With competition growing at Disney+ and HBO Max, Netflix is struggling to keep up and cutting costs. It laid off editorial staff just five months after launching its in-house fan website Tudum.
“Netflix recruited me seven months ago only to lay me and a bunch of other talented people off today” wrote Evette Dionne @freeblackgirl, a culture journalist and award-winning author, in an April 28 tweet. “I’m going to take time off to just exist, so please get in touch if you’ll have editing and content strategy opportunities open after August”.
“Aggressively courting journalists (esp POC). Throwing money at us. Telling us this is gonna be different and stable. We’ll be set up for success. Then months later pulling the rug out from underneath us. I should’ve known better than to trust anything with ‘doom’ in its name” tweeted Alex Zaragoza, who was laid off from Netflix.
Netflix has also cut costs in content too, canceling planned shows over the past few weeks, Gizmodo reported. It’s even considering including ads on the platform and cracking down on password sharing.
Photo: Stock prices are shown at the Nasdaq market site in Times Square, New York, Oct. 24, 2008. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)