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

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

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 Amazon released a touch-screen edition of the Kindle in 2011, which was superseded by the Kindle Paperwhite in 2012.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:
Nov. 29, 2016 / Nicholas Quah
Hot Pod: Should Apple become a more useful middleman for the podcast industry — and if so, how? — Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue ninety-seven, published November 29, 2016. Ken Doctor on the role Apple should play. The media analyst made an appearance on the latest episode of The Wolf D...
Nov. 15, 2016 / Nicholas Quah
Hot Pod: Did the election podcast glut of 2016 fail its listeners? — Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue ninety-six, published November 15, 2016. Outlook. Last Tuesday’s shocking electoral conclusion has severe ramifications not just for the media generall...
Nov. 1, 2016 / Laura Hazard Owen
Scribd adds magazines to its $8.99/month reading subscription, and says it’s profitable — Scribd announced Tuesday that it’s adding magazines to its reading subscription service, which costs $8.99 a month and also includes ebooks, audiobooks, and other documents: Subscribers can now enjoy access to arti...
Oct. 28, 2016 / Laura Hazard Owen
New York magazine turns a history of shopping recommendations into a new online revenue stream — “Service journalism” got renewed attention this week with the news that The New York Times shelled out $30 million for The Wirecutter and The Sweethome. But shopping recommendations obviously aren’t lim...
Oct. 18, 2016 / Nicholas Quah
Hot Pod: Is podcasting about food the new dancing about architecture? — Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue ninety-two, published October 18, 2016. Gimlet ends Sampler. The company announced the end of its podcast about podcasts at the top of its last episode, whic...

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: Slate
Slate logo

Slate is an online political and cultural magazine founded in 1996 and currently owned by the Graham Holdings Co. Slate was launched by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley and initially owned by Microsoft — one of the first online-only publications founded as part of a major corporation or media outlet. Much of Slate’s commentary…

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 »