Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Bezos Enters Newsprint World

Jeff Bezos has thrown down the gauntlet to the newsprint world and is acquiring the Washington Post for $250million.

The questions as to why and what he intends to do with the newspaper are speculation today but the news itself is a significant step to expand Amazon’s reach to all and potentially change the way newsprint operates.

Does this mean Bezos intends to be the new Murdoch and build a media empire? Probably but we would suggest that unlike Murdoch he will not need to buy up the individual presses but merely exploit and expand the one he now has and build a brand that is local, international and importantly individual and this could also involve classifieds and further complimentary purchases.

Forget the rhetoric that will prevail over the next few days, the move is a significant one when you view it alongside his portfolio of offers and his ability to effectively cross subsidise services and offer bundles of books, films, audio, music, technology, marketplace, community and delivery services etc on a truly global manner. Amazon was built on a global brand, vision and offer and that is what differentiated them from many pretenders in many of their propositions.

It is easy to envisage Amazon Singles now expanding in a logical and different direction and this was evident with their latest news piece last week. Their ability to customise the news alongside your tastes and interests in other things, your location and serve them up over Whispernet and their cloud services is formidable and not one that others will easily replicate. However the interesting thing is that Bezos steps in and buys the basics unlike his main competitors who merely offer a marketplace to all. It is this commitment to get involved in the core business that truly differentiates him from the others.

It is going to be an interesting time for newsprint, journalists and classifieds and one where many will now have to look over their shoulders and watch change as it happens.

image David McNew/Getty Images

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