about  /   archives  /   contact  /   subscribe  /   twitter    
Share this entry
Make this entry better

What are we missing? Is there a key link we skipped, or a part of the story we got wrong?

Let us know — we’re counting on you to help Encyclo get better.

Put Encyclo on your site
Embed this Encyclo entry in your blog or webpage by copying this code into your HTML:

Key links:
Primary website:
amazon.com
Primary Twitter:
@amazon

Amazon.com is the largest Internet retailer in the United States and one of the largest retailers of any kind in the world. Founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, Amazon began as a bookseller but quickly branched out into many other areas.

In 2006, the company launched Amazon Web Services, a suite of cloud-based products used in the operation of websites and web applications. Amazon EC2, which sells computing power, and Amazon S3, which sells web server space, are both popular among news organizations and other companies. Some have expressed concern that Amazon’s success in the space could give it too much power, such as when Amazon bounced WikiLeaks off its servers in late 2010.

In 2007, Amazon announced the Kindle, its ebook reader, which has become the market leader among dedicated e-readers. Priced originally at $399, the Kindle has gone through three major versions, with the price dropping to $79. Amazon released a touch-screen edition of the Kindle in 2011, which was superseded by the Kindle Paperwhite in 2012.

In 2011, Amazon released the Kindle Fire, a touch-screen tablet computer that runs on Google’s Android system. The Fire was initially priced at $199 and was launched along with its own web browser, Silk.

The Kindle Store sells subscriptions to a number of leading newspapers and magazines. Several news publishers have criticized Amazon for the size of the cut it takes from Kindle subscription revenue. Unlike Kindle ebooks, Kindle subscriptions are not viewable on other devices with Kindle apps, like the iPhone or iPad. In August 2011, Amazon launched the Kindle Cloud Reader, a browser-based app that allows access to the Kindle store.

The Kindle has been a major driver of ebook sales, which passed paperback sales in the United States in early 2011. It has been criticized for setting ebook prices too low, undercutting its competitors and hurting publishers.

A number of news organizations have used the platform to publish ebooks based on their reporting. In January 2011, Amazon launched Kindle Singles, a section of the Kindle Store dedicated to article-length pieces, many of them original journalism and some produced by news organizations. A number of startups, including The Atavist and Byliner, aim to produce Kindle Singles or ebooks in similar formats for sale.

Amazon also publishes its own books, both in print and via ebooks. It began managing magazine subscriptions in 2013 through a partnership with Conde Nast.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
May 11, 2016 / Shan Wang
From bingo games to brackets, The Washington Post is building “alternative story forms” — Did The Washington Post correctly guess your age and income, based solely on the apps on your phone? (For the record: I am, based on my phone apps, “a single guy younger than 32 who makes more than $52,000/year....
April 12, 2016 / Nicholas Quah
Hot Pod: How big are Audible’s ambitions in changing short-form audio? Really, really big — Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue sixty-eight, published April 12, 2016. We got a real chunky one for ya. Audible launches Channels. If you’re reading this column at Nieman Lab, you pro...
April 7, 2016 / Shan Wang
Audible, long known only for audiobooks, is branching out into podcasts — and news — If you’ve been reading Hot Pod here on Nieman Lab or podcast news more generally, you’ll know that Audible has been staffing up with audio talent — notably from public radio — to build out original conten...
April 5, 2016 / Laura Hazard Owen
“Investigative brand journalism”: The Guardian and Amazon step into the next level of sponsored content — In March, The Guardian ran a true crime reporting series called How to Solve a Murder. The four-part series chronicles efforts to solve the 35-year-old unsolved murder of Kari Lenander, a teenage girl, in Los Angeles in ...
March 29, 2016 / Nicholas Quah
Hot Pod: Can podcasts move beyond talking heads to produce digital-first audio news? — Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue sixty-six, published March 29, 2016. Lots of industry moves and inside baseball this week, folks. No flipping! Movers, shakers, candlestick makers. A string ...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Joshua Benton. Main text last updated: October 2, 2013.
Make this entry better
How could this entry improve? What's missing, unclear, or wrong?
Name (optional)
Email (optional)
Explore: Outside.in
Outside.in logo

Outside.in is a company that aggregates and maps hyperlocal news. It was purchased by AOL in March 2011, reportedly for something under $10 million, so that its technology could be merged into the local site network Patch. The company is based in Brooklyn and was launched in 2006 by Steven Berlin Johnson, Cory Forsyth, and…

Put Encyclo on your site
Embed this Encyclo entry in your blog or webpage by copying this code into your HTML:

Encyclo is made possible by a grant from the Knight Foundation.
The Nieman Journalism Lab is a collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age.
Some rights reserved. Copyright information »