When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post for $US250 million in 2013, many saw it as a move to inject new life into the century-old news organisation.
It seems like we’re getting a better picture of how exactly he’s going to do it.
According to the Financial Times on Monday, The Post plans to sell its backend content-management system (CMS) to local and regional newspapers.
The report says The Post was approached by some of its partner newspapers, which already have content-sharing deals with The Post, about licensing the software that’s used for The Post’s website. The Post has content-sharing deals with the Dallas Morning News and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, while some colleges like Columbia, Yale, and the University of Maryland already use the software on a trial basis.
If the deal goes through, it could open up a whole new revenue channel for The Post. Traditional print newspapers and magazines, like The Post, saw their businesses decline in recent years as they struggle to keep up with digital. But with a new CMS-licensing business, The Post can broaden its footprint and find new growth from the technology side of its business.
The Post clearly sees potential here as it added 20 engineers this year for a total of 225. It has opened a design and development office in New York, while another one is expected to open in Virginia next year, the report said.
In fact, the move is in line with what Bezos said during Business Insider’s Ignition conference. Here’s what he said when he was asked why he bought The Post:
“The internet has radically disrupted traditional newspapers, so there’s a lot of invention and experimentation to be done…even though I didn’t know anything about the newspaper business, I did know something about the internet and companies reacting to the internet. That, combined with the financial runway that I can provide is the reason why I bought the company.”
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.