Speaking of ecosystems, Amazon is treating publishers to the law of the jungle.
It will reportedly publish 122 books this fall in both e-book and physical formats, thumbing its nose at the very publishing houses who built its business. Among its first sallies: publishing self-help writer Tim Ferris and paying $800,000 for a memoir by actress and director Penny Marshall, according to the New York Times.
Amazon can afford to play nasty. With e-books capturing a growing percentage of the book market, publishers don’t have many viable alternatives to selling to Amazon. Apple’s pound-of-flesh deals begin to look tolerable next to a company that simply wipes you out.
Billboard speculated today that Amazon might next try to take down what’s left of the music business.
Now you get even more clearly why Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos needed to launch his Fire device. He’s creating an ecosystem in which Amazon controls the flow and sale of content from inception to consumption — cutting out publishers, agents and bookstores. Or at least as much as he can without getting slapped with an anti-trust suit.