Amazon’s advantage has been price and convenience. For $0.99 I will try a book. If I don’t like it no harm is done and I move on. The problem Amazon faces is television and film is no matter how cheap the cost to the consumer if a TV show is bad the audience can smell it and they leave in droves.
A book is a single unit produced for relatively little but a TV series is a major upfront investment. If the first episode bores viewers you can’t lower the price to lure them back. Amazon is built on traffic and volume. Quality does not follow the normal laws of goods and commerce. Quality is expensive. Some of our greatest works of literature are our least read. Our best painters died penniless. Quality television is synonymous with “small but loyal audience”. Amazon is fueled by data mining and trend analysis. Quality Content tends to ignore convention.
Superb device maker Apple found that creating and online retail store was not so easy. When you own the market like with the iPod people forgive a clunky interface like iTunes. Superb retailer Amazon may soon find content creation similarly difficult.
It will be interesting to see how the Big Six react. As content experts, publishers have the best track record so far. Pottermore looks to do $60 million this year. Content powerhouse Disney looks to have the highest grossing film of all time with the Avengers and that is without including merchandising or comic book sales.
It is beginning to look like content is king after all.