- Location-based mobile site to deliver local news: For instance, if the site or mobile site knows Im in Miami, doesnt it make sense to serve some Miami local news over, say, Houston news? And we are not talking about the kind of hyper-personalization that has not really worked for Yahoo and other sites. We are talking, essentially, about some minor tweaks that are really operational at heart. For a company like Amazon that can serve highly local deals, this would be simple. The key aspect is that all of these local iterations are branded The Washington Post.
- Sponsorship and third-party advertising on news items: The ability to customize Web and mobile sites can also open the door to very engaging sponsorships. For example, lets say that I show a preference for gourmet cooking and live in a high-income ZIP code. Conceivably, Cordon Bleu or Johnson & Wales could sponsor specific sections or authors in those sections. The cross-platform possibilities could turn the entire news-delivery system into a real selling machine.
Finally, an old media vehicle like a newspaper can open new commercial frontiers for Amazon: real estate, cars, vacations and more. Currently, Amazon doesnt sell those or many other products. However, starting a relationship with advertising mega retailers like AutoNation, EWM or Keyes (real estate), or Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines through newspapers can open new commercial avenues for Amazon. All of these companies are solid newspaper advertisers that would probably welcome a coherent multi-platform presence.
My bottom line: The Washington Post is a great brand; though local in footprint, it is truly national in reputation and credibility. Adding really integrated, top-notch Web and mobile layers will create a seamless news delivery and commercial environment with all the possibilities of becoming a true national brand.
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