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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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald