He writes that some Amazon employees working in the entertainment division analyzed how many Prime members watched shows and then expanded their Prime memberships or signed up. “There was little evidence of a connection between viewing and buying behavior,” Stone writes. “The truth was this: Bezos wanted Amazon to make TV shows and movies. “
The divergence between Prime Video’s stated goals and perhaps more pedestrian reality highlights a dichotomy of Amazon and other tech superpowers. They are so wealthy and successful in some areas that they can afford to get agitated in others.
Amazon’s success in online shopping and cloud computing, and more importantly, the belief by fans and critics alike that the company is a powerful and disruptive genius, has disguised its questionable strategies. Amazon in food and in transmission. And it has reduced the urge to fix a clunky online shopping experience that we can’t always trust and that feels like it hasn’t been updated since the 1990s.
The wildly profitable advertising businesses of Facebook and Google underpin their inability to figure out what to do with … well, pretty much everything else those companies are involved with, including Facebook’s blunders in turning WhatsApp into a business and years of struggles from Google in online shopping. I don’t know whether to find it comforting or scary that these companies are both insanely smart and sometimes stumble in the dark.
At Prime Video, we don’t hear from Amazon executives justifying the expense or presenting its value to Prime members. The lure of fast, free shipping may be enough. Or would Prime members be more loyal if the company offered different benefits, for example free internet service, online fitness classes, access to personal shoppers, or more Kindle books? Walmart’s Prime version offers discounts at some gas stations.