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Tech Talk

Stay tuned, Amazon’s gonna win


One of my favorite George Carlin’s one liners was simply “Stay tuned, China’s gonna win.” The sentiment is easy enough. China is a sleeping giant whose might will one day make it the crowning super power. Extending this metaphor to the tech world, the obvious China substitute is Amazon with 2014 being the year it comes out from behind the silicon curtain.

In the past nine months, Amazon has released a set top box, its first smartphone, a string of critically acclaimed original TV streaming content, and just last month purchased streaming gaming site Twitch, the largest acquisition in the company’s history. Amazon’s bread will always be buttered by online retail, but these recent power plays represent the company expanding into content delivery, telecommunications, the entertainment world and the fervent gaming industry.

Nothing at Amazon is done in haste. It waited almost a decade before entering the smartphone market, and it waited until the online streaming industry was a sustainable business model to develop its own content. Now with the $1 billion acquisition of Twitch — think YouTube for gamers — Amazon is looking to grow its tech footprint even more by luring hundreds of millions of videogame players into the Amazon ecosystem. This is a smart move when you consider now Amazon will give players the venue to play, stream and ultimately purchase the object of their affections.

The secret to Amazon’s silent success is very similar to Walmart: undercut all of your competitors to the lowest possible price in order to turn a profit and use all available revenue to expand the company’s reach.

Of course for Amazon to dominate all these different tech subsets, they’d have to topple the reigning champions of Google, Apple, Netflix, YouTube and more. But just as England supplanted France, the USA trounced England, and eventually China’s economy will lumber past ours, Amazon has the customer base and strong diverse offerings to one day reign victorious over the tech kingdom. CV

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Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. Follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb.

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