The Washington Post Extends Bezos's Ecosystem and Empire
Instead of lauding Bezos's move on The Washington Post Company's
Henry Blodget said it best:
Gotta love Jeff Bezos— Henry Blodget (@hblodget) August 5, 2013
But what separates Blodget from the tortured pool of cynics is that he gets it. Bezos knows this, as evidenced by his decision to invest $5 million in Business Insider , the Website Blodget co-founded and runs.
Don't believe for a second that Bezos's purchase of WAPO has nothing to do with his Business Insider investment or with Amazon.com.
Consider Turner Broadcasting's (a division of Time Warner's
The potential practical connections between Amazon and WAPO don't move me. While I don't think we'll see many -- or any -- something like all Kindle users receive a free WAPO subscription would hardly come as a surprise. What's more interesting, however, are the deeper, more theoretical implications that could lead to material associations.
This is the man who conceived and led the transformation of media consumption from hardcopy to digital. A transition that's, relatively speaking, still in its early stages. As a media executive who knows Bezos told The Wall Street Journal , "(Bezos) still sees a role for journalism, and it's an extension of his interest in books and writers. It also gives him a pulpit in Washington." Bezos, according to the WSJ's source, can now vision new ways for old and new journalism to intersect.
He can step in, as he did with retail, and take a vulnerable institution -- old school journalism -- and reinvent it. And, just as brick and mortar retailers have, other newspapers will feebly follow. As the dust awkwardly settles, Bezos will buy more newspapers and other media outlets, creating the type of all-encompassing media powerhouse Warren Buffett a) will envy and b) couldn't possibly create in the first place.
This move represents Bezos's next frontier. Steve Jobs disrupted the music industry, smartphones and computing. It's only fitting that Bezos puts his second act (and third if you count space travel) into motion in an industry that rides alongside, but not shotgun with, what propelled Amazon to dominance.