FYI Corner: Amazon hopes to ignite users with new Kindle Fire

By Jen Carter, Station Products & Innovation
With names like Fire and Silk Amazon is picking up marketing va-va-voom in the form of the newly released, newly improved, Kindle.

With Apple dominating a lot of the tech ecosystem it’s still important to find room for those “other” folks. With that in mind Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the Amazon team have created a new product that is sure to excite and delight someone…right?

The eReader market pretty much started with Amazon, and the company has often dominated. Even with lots of competition over the past couple of years, the Kindle is still one of the best basic readers out there. Which makes it particularly nice to see Amazon innovating and keeping up with new trends in the landscape while staying true to what they’ve been able to do best.

Bezos’s recent letter sharing Kindle's evolution from your basic eReader to something more slick and sophisticated with a ton more functionality was nice to see. And by sophisticated we are talking “high-end” and by high-end we are talking more expensive. However, compared to the price of the iPad and the Nook, Amazon’s new Kindle is quite reasonable at $199.

According to the letter which Amazon prioritized highly on their homepage last week, the thought process behind this shift is that “there are two types of companies: those that work hard to charge customers more, and those that work hard to charge customers less. Both approaches can work. We are firmly in the second camp.”

The non-cosmetic part of this product seems to encompass that which the company has been striving to create for the past decade or so. According to Amazon, “Kindle Fire brings everything we’ve been working on at Amazon into a single, fully-integrated experience for customers – instant access to Amazon’s massive selection of digital content, a vibrant color IPS touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle, a 14.6 ounce design that’s easy to hold with one hand, a state-of-the-art dual core processor, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, and an ultra-fast mobile browser – Amazon Silk – available exclusively on Kindle Fire.”

Silk is a browser that promises fast downloading, accessibility and the marriage of the front and back end of tech features. The split personality enables the users to access both what is on their devices as well as what’s on Amazon’s computing cloud. For the record, uses Amazon Web Services.

So what does this mean for stations? It could be there is another big player at the table. Maybe this is the first in a long line of products that are itching to get out the door. How can stations consume these products and use them to their benefit to reach the rest of the market – especially in local communities?

Like with all things technology, only time will tell whether Bezos and team have a hit on their hands or need to go back to the drawing board. One thing is for sure: with all the movement going on in the tech world these days media and stations in general should keep looking for the next big thing.

Please share any comments you have below about Amazon and the new Kindle Fire - or anything that came to mind while reading. And be on the lookout for an upcoming Presented by Incubation Lab post by Adam Rabin of Vermont Public Television talking about station DVD sales through Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. Well written and thought out review. Failure to recognize the ereader impact and to fully commit to a marketing plan with ereaders at its core, I believe, is ultimately to blame for Borders' recent demise. Like 'em or not, e-readers are here to stay.