Thursday, May 2, 2013

Amazon TV Could Lift Books

Increasingly, television stations are partnering with books. TV networks have owned publishing companies (Fox and Harper Collins, CBS and Simon & Schuster, ABC and Disney), so the concept is not new, but soon Amazon may join the ranks of such powerhouses.

Amazon is looking to launch an Internet video device that will not only stream TV shows, but feature Amazon-original content.  They won’t just be selling TV sets – they will supply some of the content.  There is a pattern developing. They no longer just sell books; they also publish them.

From the perspective of the book publishing world, maybe this presents an opportunity to partner with Amazon to provide authors and content.  If Amazon wants to turn a novel into a movie, or turn a book into a documentary, it will have a big viewership.  Maybe it’ll create talk shows or news segments where it interviews authors.  Or Amazon can produce a reality show: Who wants to be an author? Some kind of cut-throat competition yields a winner who gets published and becomes a best-selling brand.  I can see it now.

We may be a ways off from such ambitious programming, but not too far off. Netflix used to send you DVD’s of old shows and movies – but now it’s airing its own original TV series.

But before Amazon goes Hollywood, it needs to get its finances in order.  It still makes peanuts compared to the massive revenue it generates.  For every 62 billion dollars it brings in annually, it spends 61.5 billion.  It nets 1.1% of what it brings in.  Companies that bring in just one-tenth of Amazon’s revenue make a bigger profit.  

Whether Amazon starts making bigger profits may not matter. Wall Street loves them and consumers like their brand.  If they get iinto original TV programming, we can only hope they use their muscle to highlight books.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2013 

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