The MIT Technology Review suggests Amazon is jumping into the advertising game to compete against Google and Facebook. Certainly plausible – advertisers would love to get access to consumer data which drives its recommendation engine.
What’s interesting is how many markets I hear Amazon is about to jump into.
Grocery chains are worried that as Amazon optimizes same day delivery it will get into their turf. Third party logistics (3PLs) have long feared Amazon’s distribution and logistics. Cable companies and telcos worry about Amazon as a streaming content player, since it already offers its Prime customers access to complimentary movies. Every retail category watches Amazon’s prices. Book publishers have a love/hate relationship with Amazon – it is a major channel, and potentially a major competitor with its own Kindle Direct Publishing. Most outsourcers pooh pooh Amazon as competition, but most customers use Amazon Web Services as a competitive benchmark.
Personally, I hope Jeff Bezos stays away from most of these markets and pleas to buy everything from Best Buy to more robotics companies (it owns Kiva). I would hate to see Amazon too distracted. But I would love to see it continue as a phantom competitor and keep many an industry honest.