- Taylor Swift is headlining Amazon's Prime Day concert on July 10, joined by SZA, Becky G, and Dua Lipa.
- New for this year, the concert event will stream live on Amazon Prime.
- It's designed to draw attention to one of Amazon's biggest shopping days of the year.
- With an Ariana Grande concert last year and Swift this year, it's clear Amazon is moving its Prime Day celebration to more closely mimic Alibaba's Singles Day.
- Amazon has also enlisted 10 celebrities to sell either exclusive products or exclusive deals, a move that also mimics Singles Day.
By any measure, this year's Amazon's Prime Day event will be its largest ever.
It will run for a full 48 hours, making a mockery of the word "day" in the event's title. In fact, this Prime Day will be the longest ever — a full 12 hours longer than last year's.
It'll be bigger in other ways, too. This year's Prime Day concert event will be headlined by Taylor Swift, arguably the biggest pop star on the planet. She will be supported by SZA, Becky G, and Dua Lipa, all of which bring their own fan bases.
Last year, a different but similar event called the Amazon Music Unboxing Prime Day concert was headlined by Ariana Grande, a massive pop star in her own right. Like this year's concert will be, it was streamed on Prime Video for Prime members. It was more of a one-off concert than the holistic event happening this year.
Amazon is promising "a first-of-its-kind event that celebrates the best in Amazon entertainment." The stream will be interspersed with new preview clips of Amazon Prime Original shows. It even has its own host, actress Jane Lynch.
It's the biggest event yet tied to — and meant to draw attention to — Prime Day, which has cemented itself since its 2015 debut as one of the top three most important sales days of the year for Amazon.
Amazon has also enlisted at least 10 big-name celebrities, including Kristen Bell, Kobe Bryant, Hilary Duff, Mark Wahlberg, and Jaden Smith, to advertise exclusive products or deals on or before Prime Day with its "star-studded deals."
But even as Prime Day is bigger and better than ever, it does not stand alone on the world stage of glitzy sales events.
Every year, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba hosts its massive Singles Day celebration. The company was crucial in transforming the regional holiday into the largest shopping day on the Chinese calendar over the last 10 years, as reported by Kate Taylor, who was at 2018's Singles Day in Shanghai.
A four-hour gala kicks off the sales event in a massive arena every year. Last year, the event featured numerous celebrities like model Miranda Kerr, who sells a skincare line on Tmall, and singer Mariah Carey, who performed.
It also featured numerous other segments for its variety show featuring performers and singers, including Allen Iverson overseeing a basketball competition.
But that's not to distract from the main event: moving product. A giant screen projects the number that Alibaba calls its GMV, or gross merchandise volume, which eventually tallied up to more than $30 billion in sales across Alibaba's sites like Tmall and physical retailers like Hema for the day.
Right now, Amazon cannot compete with that. The company does not release exact sales figures for its shopping events, but for 2018's 36-hour Prime Day, total sales were pegged at $4.2 billion by Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.
Prime Day's sales are regularly beat by other days of the year. In 2018, both Black Friday and Cyber Monday beat Prime Day in terms of sales, according to Amazon. Right now, 2018's Cyber Monday sits as Amazon's top sales day.
Prime Day is also younger than Singles Day, starting only in 2015. Alibaba's first modern Singles Day event was held in 2008.
It's clear that Prime Day is here to stay, and that we can expect more events like this year's Singles Day-esque Prime Day concert to draw attention to it.