Leave it to the Business Insider’s Henry Blodget to write a fanboy post to his investor/boss Jeff Bezos and then miss the point for at least half of the article.
Now bear in mind, Amazon did not buy the WaPo, Bezos did:
Lastly, I’d guess that Jeff Bezos thinks there are many ways in which the news business might be complementary to Amazon.
How might the news business be complementary?
1. Amazon is already in the content production and distribution business–and news is just another kind of content. Amazon distributes massive amounts of print and digital content. The content the Washington Post publishes and distributes could be bundled or distributed with that content. And, similarly, the content that Amazon produces–mainly commerce-related, but increasingly media–could be integrated with the Washington Post’s content, offering more choices for customers and consumers.
If you are saying that the WaPo could use Amazon as another distribution channel, they could do that today for a fee to Amazon. But why should they when the internet itself is a distribution channel that is free and they have a very successful, much travelled portal. It is much more likely that Amazon would want to buy ads on the WaPo website today than vice-versa. What kind of business analysis is this?
2. Amazon is already in the subscription and media-gadget businesses. Subscribers to Amazon’s “Prime” delivery service already get to watch free movies and TV shows. Amazon Kindle buyers already have access to free books. It’s easy to imagine that Prime subscribers and Kindle buyers will soon have convenient, free access to the Washington Post–and that this access might make a Prime subscription or Kindle ownership more valuable. Washington Post reporters, meanwhile, could produce an endless supply of ebooks and Kindle Singles.
Again, Amazon did not buy the WaPo, and so why would the WaPo want to essentially give away free product to Kindle users? What kind of business analysis is this?
3. “News” is the digital equivalent of a high-traffic intersection: As people pass through to figure out what’s happening they might also stop to do some shopping. Content and commerce companies have long dabbled with combining the two experiences, but no one has really nailed it. Given Amazon’s expertise in affiliate marketing and advertising, it’s not hard to imagine that the Washington Post could quickly become a laboratory for the next generation of integrated content and commerce.
Gasp! Amazon will bring advertising to the WaPo (if Amazon had bought it)? What a brilliant idea, I bet no one ever thought about having ads in a news paper before! What kind of business analysis is this?
4. Amazon is getting into the local physical delivery business–a business that the Washington Post is already in. Could stuff ordered from Amazon be delivered with your morning newspaper? Why not? And your daily newspaper–or parts of it–could certainly be delivered in a box with your Amazon stuff. I doubt that Bezos is really interested in the print version of the Post, but as long as it exists, it might be fun to fiddle with.
Again, Bezos bought the WaPo, not Amazon. And even if it was Amazon, how does that change the WaPo business model except to drive the cost up? Someone pays for that.
In short, there are lots [of] cool synergies that Jeff Bezos and Amazon might want to experiment with.
Sooooo, if there are lots of cool synergies, then why didn’t Amazon buy it, Henry?
Blodget cannot separate Bezos from Amazon, and it seems that he really doesn’t understand ecommerce or media. He is embarrassing himself again with facile business analysis.