History shows that people are always trying to innovate. From the days of Henry Ford to Steve Jobs to Jeff Bezos, leaders are constantly trying to improve on previous models or technologies. This trend is nowhere near slowing down, which should be exciting for all of us who are living in this day and age.
Some people believe that this time is another industrial revolution that is propelling America even further into a leadership role. Other people think that this is scary since technology is relatively new and they only hear horror stories of how robots will one day kill us. Both sides of the spectrum are covered, but there is a middle ground.
Recently, Amazon’s Alexa found yet another big name partner to help get their brand out further. DISH customers will now be able to change the channel, rewind, fast-forward through commercials, and a number other commands via Alexa. Dish Network is one of the leading direct-broadcast satellite service providers in America. This partnership shows the innovation of technology in that people used to get up to change the channel, and then the remote came where you could change the channel with a click of a button, and now remotes will be obsolete and voices will do all the work.
Some of you might be wondering, “how does this fit into Amazon’s overall business? Don’t they have the Fire Stick, which competes against Dish Network and other TV providers?” So, why does Amazon competes against itself? Or, does it actually compete against itself?
People often think of Amazon as a competitor to Apple or Microsoft and, in some cases, it might be. However, that is not where Amazon is trying to get towards. Simply because they are both technology companies does not make them competitors. In order to think through the actual competitors, you must think through their end goal or what they would consider success.
So, what is Amazon’s end goal or success measurement? Orders and fulfillment of orders. They do not really care about how you order the products, but that you order the products from them. The same is true for TV production and content streaming: Amazon does not necessarily care that you watch TV on the Fire Stick or Apple TV, but that you are watching their content.
To paint a better picture, think through Amazon’s strategy in a way of a car analogy. Apple is positioning themselves as a BMW of the car industry. They want their brand to show prestige, high-end, different, and unique. The people who use Apple often look down on those Samsung users who are not allowed to fly because their phone might blow up. In a similar vein, Microsoft would be the Cadillac of the roads: they are slightly older, but still have a high-end, valuable car. People want to drive Cadillac cars, but hesitate because of the looks and that they might not be as streamlined and optimized as a BMW.
Then there is Amazon. Amazon is the Toyota Prius (work with me and let’s assume that they require gas): they have a devoted following, produce high-quality products but are not shooting for the high-end, Tesla market. Here is the kicker with all of this: while Amazon owns Prius, they also own Chevron and Shell gas stations. By owning the major gas stations, they will benefit no matter what car someone is driving because, chances are, the BMW and Cadillac drivers will fill up their gas tanks at one of those gas stations.
Here’s what I mean by that – Amazon’s core business is distribution and fulfillment. Amazon is trying to monopolize the gas stations, not the cars. By getting their grasp on the gas stations, they will benefit from when people use cars in general. So, while they might win a portion of the car’s market, they are secretly making a lot more cash by owning the gas stations.
The same is true with this partnership with Dish Networks. While it might seem like they are competing against themselves by working with other producers, they are secretly building up more and more gas stations that people will leverage. Alexa is capable of doing a lot more than just changing channels so it is safe to say that Amazon is hoping that customers will end up order products from them. This will ultimately strengthen their moat, increase their sales, and build their brand.
So, after reading that, you must be wondering if it is worth the transfer to Dish Network? Let me just break down some of the benefits that Dish Network offers its customers.
- Flex Pack: This package is the most affordable of all the packages that are available to customers. For just $39.99 per month, customers will have access to over 50 channels to watch their favorite TV shows.
- America’s Top 120+: This package is the next step up from the Flex Pack and offers over 190 unique channels to watch on. While this is slightly more expensive ($54.99), the added channels make it worth the added cost.
- America’s Top 200: For $15 more, customers will be able to upgrade their package from the top 120+ channels to over 240 channels.
- America’s Top 250: The top package that Dish Network offers it’s customers includes over 290 different channels. Coming in at $79.99, right under $80, a customer will be able to surf channels all night and never get bored.
All of these packages come with Dish Network’s great customer service and can easily be bundled with other products that they offer. So, if you are wanting to make your life easier (I’m assuming that is all of you), look to integrate your Alexa into surfing channels. Amazon and Dish Network’s partnership is just the beginning for changing the way we watch TV. Innovation will continue to happen and Alexa will be at the front of all of it.