December 9, 2014
The latest software update to Amazon’s Kindle Fire will bring the new Washington Post app to users for free. The ready to read app features the latest news with various articles, images and advertisements. The app was designed with significant contributions from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who purchased the news source last year for $250 million. The release of the app on the Kindle marks the first formal collaborative effort between The Post and its parent company Amazon.
According to The New York Times, Bezos has been actively involved in the design of the app, serving as one of the project’s most active beta testers. Bezos has helped to shape the newspaper and empower its tech employees.
Bezos has also advised The Post to expand beyond its local news coverage with a new focus on reaching a national and international audience.
Martin Baron, the paper’s editor, “said that many of his recent hires had been national reporters, with the Kindle app in mind,” notes NYT. “A team of 16 people will rewrite headlines and articles to make them punchier, with the intention of drawing a broader audience.”
As the app begins to take off, The Post will primarily focus on scale before profit, a priority that has defined Amazon’s own business model. Only once the app has shown substantial growth will execs redirect their focus to subscription fees and licensing the technology.
The app will be free for Kindle Fire users for the first six months; then it will cost $1 for the next six months. A $4 version of the app for Android and iOS users will be made available sometime next year. Everyday users will have access to two editions, strategically timed for a 5:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. release.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Explains Why He Bought The Washington Post, The New York Times, 12/2/14
Jeff Bezos Defends the Fire Phone’s Flop and Amazon’s Dismal Earnings, Wired, 12/2/14