retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

This probably was inevitable. The implications could be far-reaching.

Variety reports that "Amazon is set to debut a live, daily show dedicated to fashion and beauty. 'Style Code Live,' a 30-minute show, will stream starting today, Monday through Friday, at 9pmET/6pmPT, and be offered free to all viewers at amazon.com/stylecodelive." The show will have a stable of hosts as well as guests, and "will offer viewers tips on fashion and beauty. Viewers will then be able to shop for the corresponding products in an accompanying gallery just below the video player."

Unlike most such shows, I suspect, the metrics for whether this successful will have less to do with how many people watch and more to do with how much stuff is sold because of the subjects it covers. I do think that they need to be careful not to make it seem like an advertorial ... they'll gain credibility by being willing to not sell certain products that they don't feel meet their standards. This strikes me as being entirely within Amazon's wheelhouse, since it is the company that virtually created the concept of online user reviews for products it is selling.

But what really makes this interesting is Amazon's willingness to go live. I've been writing for several years now that it strikes me as just a matter of time before Amazon - and its brethren, such as Apple and Netflix and Facebook, for example - start bidding on the rights to carry major sporting events. They have the money, they have the users, and they have the desire to create ecosystems that simultaneously cement and expand their brands.

Which leads me to another story ... the piece in this morning's Los Angeles Times saying that Facebook is in negotiations with the National Football League (NFL) to live stream "Thursday Night Football" games.

The Times writes that "a matchup of the titans of tech and TV would mark a watershed moment for the media and Silicon Valley, whose leading companies are flush with cash and hungry for premium content to attract more eyeballs and ad dollars ... Amazon, Apple, Google and Verizon are also rumored to be interested in a deal that is likely to command hundreds of millions of dollars for the NFL."

It is just the beginning. It reflects the disruptions that are taking place in virtually every industry. And it is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: