Overly Competitive Amazon Shooting Itself In The Foot

Amazon is much talked about these days, but one aspect of Amazon, in particular, has been making the rounds online in recent days and weeks: Amazon Prime Video.

For months, there’s been speculation that Amazon’s streaming TV and movie app will finally be released for Apple’s TV device. The most recent rumor has it that the app will be released on October 26.

Well, here we are, it’s October 26, and there’s no Amazon app for Apple-TV (yet).

Frankly, I don’t get Amazon. It’s a huge and successful company, but it’s holding itself back.

At times, Amazon appears to be its own worst enemy

For starters, there are several services and devices that Amazon has withheld from markets outside the U.S. — for no apparent reason. Some Kindle devices, for example, are still unavailable to the most immediate and most obvious non-U.S. market, Canada. Prime Video took years before it was released in Canada (and that was long after it had already been made available to less obvious markets, such as Germany and Japan). This move has cost Amazon dearly: most Amazon Prime shows and other content found on Amazon Prime had already been sold to other Canadian broadcasters, so by the time the service was rolled out in Canada, it didn’t have much to offer, as most of the (profitable) content already belonged to someone else in Canada. As a result, Canadians (already quite happy users of Netflix and CraveTV, etc.) didn’t sign up for Prime Video streaming in large numbers.

In other words, Amazon, despite its size and success, keeps shooting itself in the foot by artificially limiting its reach and scope. That it withholds its Prime Video app from Apple-TV, which was developed quite some time ago, is merely one of many examples of how Amazon keeps hurting itself in a futile attempt to hurt its competition.

Literally thousands and thousands of users keep posting online, demanding that Amazon release the Apple-TV app, but Amazon won’t listen (or respond). Those same users also keep saying that they won’t subscribe to Prime Video unless there’s an app for Apple-TV.

Would a Prime Video app for Apple-TV help Apple or Amazon? It would actually benefit Amazon a lot more than it would Apple. Apple would only profit from some additional sales of the device, whereas Amazon would have a steady and continuous stream of subscription fees.

But in its shortsightedness, Amazon believes it can hurt its giant competitor Apple by withholding its Prime Video app. However, the fact of the matter is that Amazon is forgoing thousands of potential subscribers who will join only if and when they can stream Prime Video content on Apple-TV.

I’m not Amazon, but I understand that if I want to make money, I can’t just refuse to sell my services — no services rendered, no income! If a company that usually does business with my competition approaches me for a translation project, I’d be stupid to reject their offer (to make money for myself!). Turning them down wouldn’t punish my competition; I’d punish myself.

Call it basic “Business 101”. I understand it, but giant Amazon doesn’t. What does that tell you?