Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why Amazon Paid An Astronomical Sum For Twitch

A typical retail display (in Geneva, Switzerla...
A typical retail display (in Geneva, Switzerland) with a large selection of games for several major consoles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Twitch was purchased by Amazon for more than $1.1 billion, a price that includes $970 million in cash.  So what did all of this money buy?

Amazon got two things:  They're going to get a video audience that is deeply engaged and a media company that is currently generating cash in an unconventional fashion.

In terms of viewers, Amazon understands that there is a massive and growing audience for live-streaming video games.  In 2013, Twitch viewers watched video for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes on a daily basis.

Amazon currently spends more than a billion dollars annually on video content, but Twitch gets all of its content for free.  It is clearly interesting that Twitch is already making a nice profit.  Our estimates suggest that Twitch is presently earning above $72 million on its run rate.

While the current revenue for this company has not been disclosed by Twitch or even how the revenue is broken down, a close source has said that active subscribers number around 600,000 and that this would bring in about $36 million annually.  When factoring in advertising revenue, however, which is the largest part of Twitch revenue overall, the total would come to at least $72 million.

So what's the driving force behind this amazing growth?  Subscriptions are not what drive Twitch viewing, but a lot of Twitch viewers show their support by getting subscriptions.  They offer support for Speedrunner, MANvsGAME, Cosmo Wright and other popular broadcasters as a show of appreciation.

After all, these broadcasters often produce many days of viewing content every month.

This is quite different from the videos that are supplied by Amazon.  There is some video provided by Amazon's Prime Instant Video, but this comes bundled with a subscription for Amazon Prime which runs about $100 annually.  Video can be sold or rented at premium prices.

Twitch was initially poised for purchase by YouTube.  Now, however, with the purchase of Twitch, Amazon has a platform that is a lot like YouTube.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Easing The Burden of Taxes By Checking Your Refund Status

Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service (Photo credit: LendingMemo)
Right now millions of people are scrambling to focus on doing their taxes, whether it’s small business that needs to do quarterly reporting, or it’s those that are late on their initial return, there is a variety of issues that can be pursuant during this stressful time. If you or someone you know is struggling to figure all of this out, it’s time to take a simple step back and understand that this is not a complicated endeavor. However, it may seem complex at first glance. In order to ease the burden, you’ll want to look at not only how to get your taxes done swiftly, but also figure out how to go about checking you refund status whenever you need to.

The Preparation

No matter what type of tax return you need to file, you’ll find that there are several solutions that you can chase in this matter. You could go ahead and fill out the paperwork yourself, with the aid of a local library, which has to keep these forms on file and information on how to fill them out. You could even get free local aid in this manner.

Another method is to purchase software that can do the calculations, and filing for you. These range in price and some are even free online with several benefits that come alongside with it. No matter what software choice you choose, make sure that it’s approved for federal and state fillings. Once you have that, you will be able to go along and answer questions to fill out your forms automatically.

A third solution is to hire a CPA to do your taxes, whether it’s annually or quarterly. This can cost a pretty penny for some, but there are solutions that abound in every marketplace, that may even be cost effective. You’ll have to look around a bit in this regards.

Your Refund Status
No matter what option you choose in preparation, you could always go about checking you refund status, by going to the official IRS website. That’s right, you could check on your filing and more if you sign in to the official IRS page and get up to the minute information. In some instances, if you file online, you will be able to get text updates, or even email updates on the refund status that you have overall.

If you in fact have a refund pending, you will be able to get a solid answer from the IRS if you just look into it. Of course, if you don’t file, if you don’t prepare your taxes at all, then checking your refund status becomes frivolous. 

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