It was only a matter of time.
Two years after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos acquired The Washington Post, the tech billionaire is integrating the iconic newspaper with his e-commerce platform’s Prime service, making it widely available to millions of Amazon Prime customers at a discounted rate.
The company hopes the integration will help expose WaPo to new readers, while increasing the incentive for customers to subscribe to Amazon Prime
According to the company’s announcement Wednesday morning, Amazon Prime members can get six months of free access to The Washington Post National Digital Edition as an introductory offer, followed by a regular monthly subscription at a cost of just $3.99, or 60% off the regular subscription cost of $9.99 per month.
Washington Post president and general manager Steve Hills stated: “Offering free access to new subscribers through Prime allows us to connect with millions of members nationwide who may not have tried The Post in the past.”
Indeed, the integration gives WaPo a huge leg up in its competition with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, long the dominant national newspapers.
WaPo, recognized as a contender ever since its reporting on Watergate, has generally played second fiddle on the national scene.
The steeply discounted price suggests that Amazon remains focused primarily on expanding the audience for WaPo, worrying about its profitability later, much as the e-commerce giant has done in its core business, according to newspaper maven Ken Doctor.
Doctor also notes that the integration marks yet another iteration of the publisher-platform partnership, putting Amazon Prime, which has expanded into delivery of on-demand video and music, into competition with Facebook’s Instant Articles and Snapchat Discover.