Saturday, August 10, 2013

Newspapers Should Be More Like Amazon

New Republic reporting:
What's intriguing about Jeff Bezos, who purchased The Washington Post this week, is not that he's a digital guy or that he has a lot of money — though both certainly help — but that ever since he founded Amazon, he’s specialized in the long view.
...As bleak as the industry sometimes seems, the news media can be profitable — but only if companies better serve their customers, transform their business models, and alter their financial time-horizons. That includes having the kind of patience that Bezos demonstrates at Amazon. Outlets that cut back on basic services — especially reporting — will improve their near-term quarterly profit, but squander the future.
...Implicit in the mastery of the long-tail strategy is the idea that a big company can serve each customer with precision, in part by deploying sophisticated data analytics and in part by using technology to efficiently deliver good service to small numbers of people. That is an anathema to some in “mass media,” but news outlets need to embrace that approach if they're to serve readers with enough value to regain relevance.
...“The three big ideas at Amazon are long-term thinking, customer obsession, and willingness to invent,” Bezos said recently. Precisely the ones the news industry now needs.

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