I love Amazon.com.
I buy a lot of things from Amazon, but mostly music cd’s. There are three reasons for this:
1. Subscription shipping. With Amazon Prime “all you can eat” express shipping for $79/year, I never have to worry about shipping costs. I don’t hesitate when purchasing something, even if it is a small order, because I know shipping costs are already covered.
2. Long tail product offering. The music that I listen to and purchase isn’t always in the mainstream, so it’s difficult to find. I usually can’t find it in Best Buy or other physical retailer, nor even on iTunes. But it is nearly always on Amazon, which is great. It’s only rarely that I am looking for something that I can’t find.
3. Personalized recommendations. I have purchased so much music from Amazon that my preference profile is very rich. So when they recommend via e-mail or on their site that I purchase an artist’s album that I haven’t heard of, I’ll check it out. I often buy it – and like it. The service’s recommendations now are so spot on, that I truly trust it. That’s a powerful thing to say: that I, as a consumer, trust that when a company says I should buy something from them, I do.
I bring up the case of Amazon example as just one example of where the consumption of media is headed. It will become personalized: it’s delivered just for me and no other consumer. And it will be predictive. It’s not just about giving me what I want and only when I want it, but also telling me what I want before I know that I even want it. Media should know where to find me; I shouldn’t have to know where to find it.
So it’s more than just personalized content. I think the power of personalization resides in telling me what I should be looking for. Amazon is already headed in that direction and is doing a great job. There are other examples, too, in the RSS world that I’ll touch upon in subsequent posts.