Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

When Will Amazon Take on Netflix Directly? Ask Jeff Bezos.

Amazon has been building up a digital library of movies and TV shows to help it take on Netflix. But unlike Netflix, you can only use Amazon’s subscription service if you’re a member of Amazon Prime, its $79-a-year free-shipping program.

Many people, including Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, expect Amazon to eventually detach its library from Prime and offer it as a standalone subscription.

And some content owners I’ve talked to say they like the idea so much that they’ll compel Jeff Bezos to do it whether he wants to or not.

Not so fast, says Bezos. Here’s his take on the subject, from Tricia Duryee’s extended Q&A with the Amazon CEO.

Duryee: We are also hearing that studios would like you to decouple video from Prime and have you sell it as a standalone service, like Netflix.

Bezos: There are a lot of studios, and they are not all like-minded. We have very good relationships with studios, and we just did a big deal with Epix a couple of days ago, so, yeah, I like our approach.

But could they make you change your approach?

Bezos: Well, it’s their content, so they can license it however they like, but they aren’t all like-minded. We are trying to offer people a service they like, so I’m very confident that we can find content for them.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik