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November 2018

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Testing of the feature is set to begin from July 11, before rolling out to the rest of the users

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is reported to be working on an offline video option that would allow users in India to download and save videos for viewing later, in a bid to conserve data and tackle abysmal Internet connections.

Facebook sent an email to select publishers on the platform stating that users would be able to download videos when browsing on an Internet connection that is good enough, and they would be able to watch them later without incurring extra data charges or having to face hurdles like little or no connectivity. Facebook also mentioned in the email sent to publishers that in a country like India, people suffer from having to use their services on slow connections that are often responsible for issues with streaming on the platform. This offline video feature would seek to address those issues by allowing users to download them on a device when connected to a faster connection.

That is not to say that Facebook is enabling an option to download its videos to the device storage; the offline video content would be saved to the Facebook app, which would also help to prevent privacy. It is important to note the difference here between downloading the videos and saving them; in this feature, videos on Facebook would be streamed when on a proper connection and made ready to view later without an active connection. No files or data would be saved to the device.

This is another feature from Facebook that hopes to address Internet issues in emerging markets, especially where connections are slow and users are option to use the services on mobile. Facebook Lite and Free Basics were services also aimed at improving the experience for the same users, and the video saving feature in India is another one in the series.

Netflix to broadcast FX’s acclaimed series American Crime Story first season and the subsequent by 2017

Following the recent disappointment in international subscriber numbers, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has been gearing up plans to soar its content library for overseas consumers. Last week, it announced to broadcaster CBS’s Star Trek TV series in 188 international countries.

Today, the world’s leading online TV network reported that it has struck its first global subscription video on demand (SVoD) licensing deal with 20th Century Fox Television Distribution. The agreement gives the company exclusive streaming rights worldwide for FX’s highly rated series American Crime Story.

The show’s first season will be available worldwide for Netflix subscribers, except Canadians, by next year. The subsequent seasons will be broadcasted following their respective broadcast windows. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, the first season’s title, grabbed 22 nominations at the Emmy Awards and has been the most-watched new cable series this year.

The season one focused on the trial of O.J. Simpson and portrays the frenzied maneuvering and dealings on both sides of the court. Season two will be on the Hurricane Katrina and will premiere next year on FX.

“We’re excited to evolve our relationship with FOX and to bring their lauded content to our members around the world,” said Netflix Vice President of Global Television, Sean Carey.

Considering the success of the American Crime Story’s first season, the company is delighted to broadcast the praised drama series for its users.

“We’re extremely pleased to continue our relationship with Netflix on this groundbreaking deal,” noted FX’s EVP Worldwide Pay TV and SVOD, Gina Brogi.

Ms. Brogi added that the series has “perfectly capture the cultural Zeitgeist.”

Additionally, Star Trek’s previous and upcoming series will also be available for Netflix subscribers by the end of this year. Earlier today, we published why Netflix’s international subscriber growth is decelerating and highlighted limited content as one of the three main concerns.

Morgan Stanley’s Brian Nowak believes grocery and clothing categories growth is benefiting and driving Amazon

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) category expansion and faster delivery services for its customers puts the online retailer in a leading position in the US. Morgan Stanley issued a report on Amazon suggesting that its grocery and clothing categories could provide a boost of 26% growth in the US.

Amazon shares were trading up 1.22% at $754.91 as of 12:36 PM EDT on Monday. The stock hit a new all-time high of $755.55, a day ahead of 2016 Prime Day event.

Brian Nowak, analyst at Morgan Stanley, maintained his bullish Overweight rating with price target of $800 on Amazon. The price target still shows 6% potential upside from the all-time high. The research firm’s AlphaWise data revealed that continued traction of e-commerce industry and the industry leader in the grocery and clothing categories with a combined worth of $1 trillion.

Growing Online Grocery Shoppers

The analyst revealed that merely 12% and 18% of American consumers purchase fresh groceries and package groceries online; though, penetration continues to increase by 400 basis points (bps) and 200 bps in the grocery types, respectively, according to a survey conducted by Morgan Stanley.

Additionally, wallet share is also expecting upwards, as 17% of online grosser consumers intend to raise their spending levels online over the next 12 months, compared to 13% in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015 (4QFY15).

“This growing population of online grocery shoppers and expanding wallet is bullish for online grocery,” Mr. Nowak noted.

He also highlighted that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon are the leaders of the online grocery market, with 40% and 38% customers who buy groceries from their platforms online, respectively.  

Online Clothing With Highest Penetration

Among all the online categories, the sell-firm believes that clothing has the highest penetration, as 52% of American consumers bought clothes online over the last 12 months. Additionally, their share of wallet is also soaring, as 29% of online shoppers of clothes expect to increase their spending in the coming 12 months, compared to 25% in 1QFY15.

Mr. Nowak said that Amazon is the biggest beneficiary of this shift, as 45% of consumers purchased their clothes from Amazon’s sites in the US over the last 12 months, compared to 39% in 1QFY15. This is the biggest year-over-year (YoY) increase of the 10 retailers that Mr. Nowak covers.

Omega chief Leon Cooperman has put Amazon in his top 10 stock picks for 2017

After posting a bleak guidance for the fourth quarter in late October 2016, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares collapsed from $820 and lost their value by $100 by mid-November. Since then, the stock has remained below the $800-mark.

Thanks to a promising performance throughout the busy Holiday season, the stock price has been bumping up. On Friday, the stock hit its 10-week high of $799, signally a breakout in anticipation of solid results for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016 (4QFY16), scheduled to be released on January 26, 2017.

The stock, which is already up over 5.9% year-to-date through Friday, received another major push yesterday after Leon Cooperman – the billionaire philanthropist, chairman, and chief executive of Omega Advisors – named Amazon among his top investment ideas for 2017.

In an interview with CNBC’s Scott Wapner late Thursday, the famous hedge fund manager revealed that he has added Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Hess, and MGM Resorts to the list. He believes that the US stock market is “reasonably fully valued” after the robust rally since the US presidential election in November.

Mr. Cooperman advised investors to control their enthusiasm about the potential growth of the market, adding that they should rather focus on individual stocks. “I find myself very comfortable with the stocks that I own, which we think are value [stocks], but on the overall market, I’m fairly neutral to mildly positive,” he said in a statement.

Amazon is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the growing ecommerce and cloud service industries with its two main segments: Amazon Retail and Amazon Web Service (AWS). However, its new initiatives into brick-and-mortar stores and faster delivery services like Amazon Drones have led to strong expectations from the Wall Street.

Interestingly, a famous Amazon bull, Trip Chowdhry, of Global Equities Research, urged investors to dispose off their investments in Amazon by the end of 2016. He said that the stock fully represents the valuation and future prospects of AWS, the fastest-growing service of the company.

Although he remained positive on the company, he believes that the stock will not go further from that price point. Moreover, he was not too convinced with the company’s new initiatives, such as Amazon Drones, Amazon Flex, and Amazon Fresh.