Jeff Bezos and Doctor Evil: Both Set on World Domination

Why Make Trillions When We Can Make … Billions?

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, despite the identical hair style and similar bent on world domination, is way smarter than Dr. Evil. Today, The Man Who Will Change Journalism showed just how smart. Amazon has announced Kindle Matchbook, a program that, once complete, will all but remove the lines between printed and electronic books. Amazon just keeps making all the right moves.

Looking back over the Answer Guy Central Archive, I see only one instance of Amazon doing something stupid, and Mr. Bezos corrected that as best he could, quickly and complete with mea culpa. Many more times, and its mercurial CEO have shown the kinds of insight that portend real business change and a handle on what Influency means. Is Jeff Bezos the new Steve Jobs, Influency-wise? Well, yes; he probably is.

As we’ve all grown more tethered to our devices, one complaint that’s echoed over and over is peoples’ anger over needing to buy media more than once. And that makes sense, doesn’t it? My Nexus 7 tablet is rarely far from me. I’ve shifted my reading habits to be satisfied through it far more often than by picking up physical books, newspapers, or magazines. And yet, I’m never quite sure what’s going to work. Have a print magazine subscription? Some magazines are free once you link your subscription through Google Play, while others require that you pay for them all over again. Subscribe to The New York Times? Great. Maybe you can use their app(s) on your computer(s). Maybe.

Amazon and their new Kindle Matchbook program embody the kind of business change that will push media businesses toward consumer satisfaction. And yes, Amazon itself is becoming a media production company as well as a media distributor and we’ll need to keep an eye on whether Amazon’s disparate business units all play by the same rules.  But this is a big deal.

Now of course, nothing is ever really ‘free’, and while there might be lots and lots of publishers that sign on for or switch to giving you digital copies of print books, it’s a good bet that Amazon’s ‘or cheap’ method of ebook distribution will appeal to many publishers over the no-extra-payment model, at least in the short run. And Amazon of course is creating a new revenue stream for themselves through those non-free Kindle Matchbook titles. Nevertheless, everyone wins merely by virtue of Amazon putting Kindle Matchbook together. But as eBooks become the next media frontier, as the Amazons of the world (OK, there’s only one Amazon … ) create content, and as Influency Marketing yields more and better ways to control the way people consume media, Amazon just keeps looking smarter and smarter.

And remember: even the definition of eBook is in flux, so we’ll be revisiting the subject. For now? Keep an eye on Amazon and the Kindle Matchbook program. And if you want to talk about how you can move your business toward creating Amazon-like Influency, contact me here.

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