Bezos In 2012: People Won’t Pay For News On The Web, Print Will Be Dead In 20 Years

Bezos In 2012: People Won’t Pay For News On The Web, Print Will Be Dead In 20 Years


posted 8 hours ago

Before Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for $250 million, he had some choice words for the ailing print news industry. In a wide-ranging interview with the German paper, Berliner-Zeitung, the newly-minted media mogul said at the time that no one would bother paying for news online and print would be dead in 20 years (translation from our awesome writer, Frederic Lardinois). “There is one thing I’m certain about: there won’t be printed newspapers in twenty years. Maybe as luxury items in some hotels that want to offer them as an extravagant service. Printed papers won’t be normal in twenty years.” said Bezos. That’s a pretty long timeline (think what happened in technology since 1993), but it does given an indication that Bezos may pressure his new newspaper to accelerate abandonment of their print version.During the last quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post’s print division posted a 4% decline in revenue. Revenue from online publishing, mostly from and Slate properties, increased 8% to $25.8 million.

Perhaps most importantly, Bezos claimed that, “On the Web, people don’t pay for news and it’s too late for that to change”. Last March, the Washington Post put up a metered paywall, charging readers who access more than 20 articles a month. While Bezos may not interfere with editorial, it is within his role as owner to see the paper to profitability. If Bezos thinks paywalls are misguided, we may see the Washington Post drop theirs.

Bezos did not think Kindle was the salvation of papers, since “the problem is that many readers still prefer the printed version.” There will be a significant transition period where publishers will need both digital and print.

Interestingly enough, Bezos says “We [Amazon] realized that people are willing to pay for newspaper subscriptions on tablets. In the near future, every household will have multiple tablets. That’s going to be the default and will provide momentum for newspapers, too”, so we may see some creative subscription models on the Kindle or bundled with other products.

I’m curious to see how Bezos will be applying these ideas to his newly-purchased newspaper. Either that, or he will be ‘clarifying’ his words very soon.



I just say how we do it!

Laughs often, loves to be loud: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

His mail order changed the buying behavior of the people. Now he takes on the reading. To provide Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on the fun traditions questioned missionary staff and the end of printed newspapers.

His laugh is so loud that you sometimes cringe when it suddenly breaks out of it. And Jeff Bezos often laughs. The founder and president of the world’s largest online department store Amazon has come to Munich to promote new products and offers.Bezos is a pragmatic visionary who understands it shiny, and to sell his company. He always makes it to the casual style – wearing out of principle, no tie and met his counterpart always friendly. For Bill Gates is the man who invented the electronic reader Kindle, a kind of modern Johannes Gutenberg.

Former employees of Amazon, however speak less euphoric about the hard hitting power and pressure to succeed in the business. Either way – the 48-year-old Bezos is a similarly strong key figure for Amazon as it was Steve Jobs for Apple.

Shortly after the interview with Bezos online order company announced that it has slipped in the last quarter for the first time in more than five years in the red and has made $ 274 million loss. The reasons for this include high investment costs were mentioned in the new tablet computer. The first question in the interview is a distant relatives of this all-rounder. Jeff Bezos supported when he sees the camera in front of him: “What you have here are for a device on the table?”

Jeff Bezos: His Life

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico

On 12 January 1964 Jeff Bezos was born in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico.His mother was at the time of their birth until 17 years old. His marriage to his father lasted only one year. Later, she married again, her second husband, who was Bezos’ adoptive father, had fled at the age of 15 years, from Cuba to the United States.

This is a pretty antiquated Walkman. I always take him to the security, if the digital recording device suspends times.
understand. The thing is you probably found good services. And you know what, we also sell something today on Amazon.

Speaking of the past, the millennium prophesied many critics, your internet group even if only a part of the big e-commerce and bubble would eventually burst with her.
I well remember the headwinds.

Today Amazon is a global company that sells almost everything online: books, CDs, DVDs, and fashion, toys, tools or e-reader. Most recently, there is also a tablet computer from own production in Germany – the Kindle Fire, with which you make Apple competition. Are you in the process of converting your store to a technology company?

We started with the e-reader Kindle eight years ago with developing hardware and build continuously. Meanwhile, we have brought to the White Paper, the fifth generation on the market. And with the Kindle Fire HD we continue on this path in the tablet market. You can bet that in the future we will continually develop new generations of such devices that offer much more than just electronic reading devices.

When the Kindle Fire arrived in the U.S. last year for the first time on the market, the reviews were mixed first. You have taken your mouth very full for a product that was pretty good, but not exceptional, found fault with the New York Times. At the end of the year, the business section had then wring respect because the device had sold much better than was expected. Read these posts?

I interpret such discussions very closely and carefully. You have to understand: We do not build devices for technology freaks. We build equipment for people who like to consume the media and use. With the devices themselves, we want to make any money, we give it to prices of production from and we hope that we will earn money with the Amazon offer, which is linked with these devices. So the movies, books, newspapers, games, apps. In the U.S. we keep up with the sales of the Kindle Fire tablet has a market share of 22 percent. Coming back to your question: I read reviews, but I will not be the wind, they often make back-and-herwehen. I do not throw my beliefs overboard.Sometimes it is important to completely ignore reviews. I would even say: This is pretty common.

They are not only the founder of Amazon, you are also regarded as the creative brain of the group. To what extent are you interfering in the development of a new model with a?

I kneel in there very deep. Of course a lot of people working in development teams. I’m the one who always draws the eye to the customer at the forefront. I concentrate on the design, handling and usability of such devices. I have put myself in the luxurious position that I have most of the tasks that should perhaps deal with a CEO, delegated to others. So I can focus on innovation and new products.That just makes me a lot more fun.

If you introduce new equipment, you not only make headlines in the business sections. The feuilleton see not only a new product, but also a new way to read or even live that is associated with it. This has so far only the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs and you.

To say we were with our products dominate the lifestyle is the kindest thing you can say about us. That’s our goal. The Kindle team, for example, is proud that people who bought an e-reader, now read more than before – and digital and printed books. This is a good thing for the world. If we do not care in what areas, resistors and eliminate hurdles, that people come to us – simply because it makes their lives easier. We have with us in the so-called missionary enterprise teams. They begin with a mission …

So, for example, to develop e-reader.

Exactly. And this goal motivates them then. When I look at people, I always try to figure out: Is it a missionary or a mercenary?

What do you mean?

Mercenaries ask yourself first: How much money will I earn? When the missionaries is the passion for a product or a new service in the foreground. The curious thing is that the missionaries anyway make more and more money at the end as the mercenaries.

And you are the guru who hovers over everything?

I worry about such characterizations in the media no great thoughts – even if they may be flattering. That’s not what concerns me or bothers. The company, we think about how we can improve services and products. And I’m very grateful that people take note of it. It would be much less fulfilling if we had invented something and no one would buy it. Then we have a problem. But our products come in, because they are useful. All our innovations were initially perceived as radical. Today they are normal. If you can riff commonplace the reconciliation of radical, one has invented something important. For young people today ecommerce is quite natural. Clicking with the mouse, the next day it rings the doorbell and someone gives you a package. If one day people say about the Kindle: What do you want then?! But that is no big deal – that would be the best compliment for me.

Let’s talk about the things that make you a little bit of fun. Are you still a Star Trek fan?

I am. As a child I wanted to be Mr. Spock.

Have you seen the latest Star Trek movie theater a few years ago, which describes how Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock meet for the first time at a young age?

Of course, what do you think?

In one scene can meet his younger self and give him advice for his life the very aged Spock after a time jump. Now if the older Jeff Bezos If that were the young, what would the say to him?
What advice would I give my younger self? You know, I’ll gladly accept it now that I’m judged misunderstood, wrongly – often even across a very long time. Why? Because this is a prerequisite for being able to ever be inventive. Whenever you do something new, which is the traditional course of events and questioned by shaking, report immediately to the critics. So if I like Spock beam me back in time and could talk to my younger self, I would tell him: “If you think things in new ways, take it to be misunderstood in purchasing. Let’s not make you crazy, relax, everything is not so bad. “That would be my advice to myself as a young man

It sounds as if you were in 1994 when they founded Amazon, not been relaxed.

We say this: I would have to use a council at that time very well. Then reviews I have taken very emotional. I was afraid of being misunderstood. It takes a lot of strength and energy, if you think you need to convince adversaries ever believe that you are right to tell them again and again, what you do and why you do it. Today I know: It’s okay if all doubt yourself.

What drives you to constantly look for the challenge?
fun. Invent fun. I describe to you my favorite times situation: We are all in a room before us a table with white paper. Then we begin to brainstorm, and gradually more and more ideas to fill the white sheet.We fight, we emphasize, we add to the list – we refine our ideas. I love this process.

This process meant that you cannibalized Amazon’s core business with the introduction of e-readers – the sale of printed books. You have cut off the branch on which you have sat comfortably. Have the consequences of your inventions always to the end in view, when you bring it to market?

No, first we do not know exactly where it’s going. But the development has proved us right: Meanwhile, we also sell in Germany for the first time more digital than printed books. Our job is to offer the best product, the best service. Then we let the customers choose how they want to read, and where they buy their books.

Amazon in the universe there are no sacred cows, not even once own successful business?

Our only sacred cows are the three big ideas that make Amazon: 1Focus on the customer rather than the competitors. 2 The permanent will to invent. Many companies shy away from this because you often verrennt in dead ends, makes mistakes or fails. Failure is important.Then you stand back up and tries again. 3 Patience. Our business is for the long term. Our shareholders, we say: We will provide us with everything that we do, to the side of the customers – that ultimately pays off for you.

In times of financial crisis, many companies do not dare to formulate long-term prospects, they look instead banished to the numbers of the next quarter.

Sometimes I have the impression that we would eat the seeds in many areas before they rise. Short-term oriented business plan may work for a while, but eventually you will run out of steam if you do not plan further ahead. Now it is with us not so that we could now predict the next hundred years. But we have the next five, six, seven years in view and calculate accordingly. I am not so presumptuous as to say that our approach is the right one. I say, how we do it!

Long-term planning and to constantly reinvent itself. If you never too strenuous?

It would be very unnatural to stop. Simply because it gives me so much fun.

Ever read or printed books?

Barely. Biographies or fiction, I only read an e-book. I’m almost completely switched to the Kindle, the reading is there simply more convenient. It is easier to hold than a book. The only exception are cookbooks that I have read in the printed form.

Why is that?

I do not know if the printed cookbooks are better, or if I only still use in the kitchen, because I have not yet taken my previous habits. One thing is certain: I still use the classic “The Joy Of Cooking”, which is available as a book in my kitchen and is tanned from many cooking operations.

Mr. Bezos, in all that you do business with books continues to play a central role. In April last year, the Kindle Direct Publishing platform was opened in Germany, to the authors’ works can install your own. Do you want Amazon to expand a digital publisher?

We want to form an alternative to the traditional publishers, without replacing them. Our way to publish books by authors digitally, may well coexist with the traditional way of laying books. There is an offer for writers to publish themselves. And in our model, they even retain much more of the net revenues than the traditional publishers. In addition, we have developed new e-book forms such as Kindle Singles. These are texts that comprise no more than sixty pages. For regular books that is often perceived as too thin, it can be in bookstores sell poorly. What happened? If an author has an idea that is already comprehensively to sixty pages, he has to blow often, so there is a “real” book. With us, he can publish it as it is.
Now you sound like a lecturer who stands up for the literary short form.

See Kindle publishing is difficult to compare with the existing publishing world, because such a thing did not exist before. We pay higher royalties than the publishers and the authors retain their copyright.When they eventually change their minds as they want to publish her book, she can do it, since they have the copyright. And the authors can publish according to their temporal needs. If you have written a book, you can sell it three days later from us. You do not have to wait until the release cycles of publishers allow a gap. This model offers many advantages authors, and it has been extremely successful. As for the short texts, we only fill the gap in the middle. We give ideas irresistible place to be formulated in natural length.

On your e-readers and tablets can also read digital newspaper editions.The increase in subscriptions in this segment is not enough to compensate for the losses of many newspaper houses in the print sector. Read even more printed newspapers?

No, long gone. The print media industry is making for some time a very difficult transitional phase through which is not yet completed. I personally have already completed the transition and read newspapers only digitally. But at the moment there is in the field of tablet computers positive developments for newspaper companies. It’s like this: On the Web, people will not pay for news that will also not change. But we have found that people are willing to pay for newspaper subscriptions on tablets. The tablets will further penetrate our everyday lives. In the foreseeable future there will be in every household several tablets. That will be quite normal. And these developments will also give the newspapers a tailwind.

Kindle Fire and iPad save newspapers?

I would not go so far as to speak of the same salvation. Because this already prolonged transition from printed to digital newspapers is economically difficult to handle for many publishing houses, because they have to offer print and digital at the same time. You have to plow both fields, and that’s a problem. If you get rid of the print area and only concentrated on the Digital, relaxed Although the economic situation. The problem is that many readers still prefer the printed output. And these people are not mean to lose. At the same time, the tablets are not so common that you could survive as a publisher so that at the time. But transitions are eventually completed.

Have you any idea when that will be so far?

I can not predict. Just this: It will happen. And then there will still be a place for quality journalism, because people want to read these texts and information. Journalism will not disappear.

Talk now from the printed or digital journalism?

From digital. About one thing I am certain: In twenty years there will be no more printed newspapers. If they do, maybe. Considered a luxury item that allow certain hotels, as extravagant service for their guestsPrinted newspapers will no longer be normal in twenty years.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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