18 Jun How to grow from retailer to broadcaster
This image did the rounds a few months ago and one of the reasons I think it spread was the fundamental truth behind the seismic shift in Bezos’s business, (as well as his personal physique). In under 20 years he has taken Amazon from selling books to selling everything. However, it is Amazon’s recent foray into sports broadcasting which is grabbing all the headlines. Most recently this month when they acquired the rights to stream 20 English Premier League matches for 3 seasons from 2019.
Over the past few years Amazon has been snapping up live sport packages in major live sport markets like the US & UK. They now have the rights to show ATP World Tour tennis and the US Open in the UK, as well as a deal to show Thursday night NFL in the US. Through Amazon Prime they are becoming a major player in the live sport broadcasting battleground.
The interesting thing here is that Amazon attracted their vast number of customers over the last 20 years by making it ridiculously easy to buy things cheaply and reliably. They transferred the trust they earned in books into every other category. It seems natural to us that they would now be a broadcaster, because their service is cheap, easy and reliable in every other area.
Just think about that for a second. Can you envisage a world where your business evolves from selling in one category to seamlessly selling in neighbouring categories, to selling in every imaginable category, to becoming a live sports broadcaster??!!
It seems such a phenomenal gap but the mantra of modern business in the connected economy is ‘why not?’ If you have a sizeable audience who trust you, you have a platform for growth into areas you might previously have thought an impossible leap.
Businesses who have that trusted relationship with their customers are often in a more powerful position than established media owners who have built their audiences through exclusive distribution deals. The former model invites you to watch, the latter forces you to watch.
Amazon have transformed themselves from a humble retailer to a media owner powerful enough to charge customers to view their content and compete with established media owners whose sole purpose is to broadcast content.
Where could you take your organisation if you changed your lens from product seller to trusted media owner?