One issue I’m surprised I haven’t seen discussed regarding Jeff Bezos’ acquisition of The Washington Post is what his tenure will mean to local advertisers.
They don’t like him. He’s helping putting them out of business.
Haven’t you seen: retail is in the tank. Stores have become showrooms for Amazon’s sales. Looking at the golf club? Go to the pro shop and try it out and learn about it and get advice about it, then go to Amazon and buy it for a better price.
Amazon is going into local markets with experiments in same-day delivery. He will do that in competition with local merchants.
eBay, on the other hand, says it will serve local merchants and help them with same-day delivery and online sales. Google is looking to test same-day local delivery and I would imagine it, too, would work with local businesses, who are its advertisers as well.
The New Republic wondered whether Bezos wants The Washington Post’s delivery trucks. I doubt that. Though as I remember, the Post was one of the first papers in the country to shift from large-scale delivery to small-scale (trucks to station wagons), the system is still not set up to do what a UPS truck does.
So how will Bezos finesse this? He’s not big on finesse, Jeff. He could come and find ways to reassure local advertisers. He could involve them in his local delivery scheme, just as he handed over his sales and technology platforms to more merchants. He could shrug and not worry about retail advertising since he’s killing retail anyway.
As with all speculation about the Bezos era in journalism, we’ll just have to wait and wonder.
I’m proud to announce that we at PrezVid have done a deal with washingtonpost.com to contribute content to a new blog in their political section and to get promotion, traffic, and revenue in return. From their press release, issued today:
washingtonpost.com ‘Politics’ Section Expands Campaign Coverage with More Video, Newsmakers, On-the-Scene Reporting
Partnership with Jeff Jarvis Yields PrezVid.com Content on the YouTube 2008 Presidential Campaign . . .
In addition, washingtonpost.com is announcing a relationship with video weblog PrezVid.com, the latest production from blogger and media critic Jeff Jarvis and partner Peter Hauck, to provide the site’s “Politics” section with its coverage of the campaign through the eyes of YouTube and internet video.
“PrezVid has the unique opportunity to chronicle how internet video transforms politics in America from the very first moment,” Jarvis said. “YouTube enables the candidates to talk to voters around the media at eye level, and it allows voters to talk back. One of the first initiatives we’ll be making with washingtonpost.com is to invite voters to ask questions and invite candidates to answer. We are also making our own Internet shows criticizing the candidates’ and voters’ videos and interviewing the players in this new world.”
Jarvis praised washingtonpost.com for inventing a new relationship with an independent news blog. “washingtonpost.com saw us covering this arena and found a way to incorporate our content while helping to support the coverage. This is an important experiment, showing how a news organization can expand by building a broader network of coverage through independent blogs.”
That last point is the important one, as far as I’m concerned: a new model for big-small media relations.
So you’ll find PrezVid content at PrezVid and on the Post’s site and we will also be working on cooperative endeavors. PrezVid and IdolCritic are the first two productions of Exploding Video, a small-TV studio. More to follow.
Here is the full press release.