Jeff Bezos Wants to Know What You’re Reading

When Jeff Bezos’ purchased the Washington Post, many were left scratching their heads. The first thought was that he was going to include a digital subscription to the Post with every Kindle or Amazon Prime membership. He certainly could still do this, in fact he probably will.

Many were hoping Bezos would bring the Post into the 21st century, make it Kindle friendly and revitalize an industry hemorrhaging ad revenue and readers year after year. I would love to see that to tell you the truth but I’m not about to put all my eggs in one basket.

Where the value lies for Bezos and Amazon is integrating your Post reading behavior into their predictive algorithm. Amazon doesn’t have access to your interest graph like Facebook and Google do so your reading history will give them a sense of what news is important to you, what movies you want to see, what books you’re interested in and where you want to go on vacation.

From there Amazon can compare people in your demographic segment with your purchasing and reading history and make recommendations on things they think you’ll want to buy. In fact, they probably already have these items grouped in the warehouses close to where you live ready to ship in a two days or less.

One caveat - before any of this will work Jeff Bezos has to figure out how to get readership numbers for the Post closer to that of the New York Times, otherwise he’s working with just a small segment of his customer base. Big. Bezos thinks big.

Creepy? Yeah, but folks will gladly trade privacy for convenience. We do it over (Google) and over (Visa) and over (Loyalty Programs).


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