You Are The Media Now

The media and publishing world shook this week when it was announced that Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos had agreed to purchase The Washington Post for $250 million. Post announcement (no pun intended) I saw a number of articles that effectively asked the question, “What would Jeff Bezos want with The Washington Post?” My suspicion is that for a guy like Bezos (supposedly worth about $24 billion) purchasing a newspaper is akin to an upper middle class guy who decides to buy a classic car in need of work that he can tinker with on the weekends. After all, the cost of the purchase is not going to dent his wealth and you know he’s not going to walk away from the Amazon juggernaut to try to restore The Post to it’s former glory. He’ll fiddle with it though, but what he chooses to do is not my worry.

Left out of much of the commentary on this purchase is the fact that Bezos is already a much more powerful publisher than the publishers of The Post in both audience reach and revenue. Sure, Amazon sells books but they also publish a ton of e-books and print books via their wholly owned subsidiary CreateSpace. That’s not all though. Amazon Studios is producing original streaming video shows just like Netflix. So there you have print publishing, e-books and television. Adding The Post to Bezos’s empire is like adding a few extra sprinkles onto a banana split. Oh and I almost forgot that Amazon owns Audible, the leading seller of audio books. Knowing all this I think the question isn’t: Why would Bezos by The Post? The question is: What are the conditions that lead to the value of The Post falling to a level that would make the purchase attractive for Bezos? The answer is You (with just a little help from the internet gods.)

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