Bezos Starts Leveraging Amazon to Bolster Washington PostNiamh Ring
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com Inc., has started utilizing his e-commerce retailer to help bolster the newspaper he bought last year with an application exclusively available on Kindle Fire tablets.
Bezos, who agreed to acquire the Washington Post for $250 million in August 2013 in a move that vaulted the billionaire into the world of struggling newspapers, is looking for ways to expand the title’s reach, a person familiar with the move has said. The app will offer a curated selection of news and photographs from the newspaper and will be free for six months with no subscription required, according to a statement today.
Amazon, which doesn’t disclose sales of its Kindle and other devices, in September debuted five new tablet models days before Apple Inc.’s new iPhones were set to go on sale. Seattle-based Amazon last month forecast sales and profit for the holiday quarter that trailed analysts’ estimates and disclosed a $170 million inventory charge for its Fire smartphone, highlighting a lack of demand for the handset.
The e-commerce retailer has said it plans temporary pop-up stores in select U.S. cities to win over consumers to its devices. Apple, which does break out sales, has said its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold 10 million devices in their debut weekend.
The Washington Post app will offer so-called “pinch view” browsing that lets readers swipe through news items, as if flipping through pages in a magazine. Two editions will be released, one at 5:00 a.m. New York time and another at 5:00 p.m., with breaking news and other updates added during the day.
Kindle fire users can access the Post app as part of a free over-the-air software update, according to the statement.