Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Amazon will own the influencing machine.

So I envision a world where Walmart and Amazon own everything, probably as partners...

I'm sort of amazed at the generally positive reaction to the news that Jeff Bezos of Amazon is buying the Washington Post.

Right off the bat it seems to me that too much power is being given to one man.

On top of buying the premier online site for recommending books, "Good Reads" this seems to give Bezos unprecedented ability to shape the message.

If you read the NY Times, for instance, you realize how many of the stories in local newspapers all over the country are shaped by the big newspapers.  The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post are the other two big generators of stories.

This gives Bezos an ability to shape the news, sitting on top of the tipping points, more or less influencing the direction of what becomes culturally significant, what becomes a best-seller.

The federal government appears to have complete abrogated their duty to make sure that no one entity gets so big it has monopolistic powers.

Basically, if you aren't part of his influence machine, you are going to be left out.


Duncan McGeary said...

Imagine if you will 8 authors, all equally good. 3 of them are outside your influence -- you ignore them. Of the five that are left, 3 of them want too much money.

So you pick one of the two that is left, and you post a positive review on Washington Post and Good Reads, you do articles on the author, you make sure it gets prominent placement on Amazon and so on.

Guess which books becomes the bestseller?

Carl said...

I think you give too much credit to newspapers. They are folding and being sold for a penny on the dollar (compared even to 5 years ago). If Bezos makes money on this, it will be a miracle.

BTW, I read the news as this is his own $$ and not Amazon's.

Duncan McGeary said...

I thinking he influences the influencers -- tipping point style.

I don't know -- I suppose he may keep his interests out of the paper -- but he may not. I mean, that just seems like a firewall that isn't much of a firewall.

Unknown said...

On the surface, this doesn't seem so bad. A tech pioneer resuscitates a dying American industry. What will be interesting is to see the collateral damage on other newspapers that do not have the means to compete with a Bezos. He holds the power in his ability to know what the customer wants. Will he share it with other newspapers or plow through them one by one?