Amazon spent $8.1M on Washington Post ads and digital content in 2017, up from previous years

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Amazon’s annual proxy statement includes something you don’t see every day: details on how much money the e-commerce giant spends with one of the nation’s top newspapers. Because Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos independently owns The Washington Post, the company is compelled to disclose when the two organizations do business together.

In 2017, Amazon bought $3.2 million worth of ads from The Washington Post and spent $4.9 million “related to digital content,” for a total of $8.1 million. The Washington Post, in turn, paid Amazon approximately $1.5 million for subscriber services last year.

Amazon and The Post have been increasing their financial relationship in recent years.

  • In 2016, Amazon spent $4 million with The Post and the paper bought subscriber services from Amazon for $175,000.
  • In 2015, Amazon spent $1.3 million with The Post, with no payment to Amazon disclosed.
  • In 2014, Amazon spent $1.4 million with The Post, with no payment to Amazon disclosed.

Bezos purchased the newspaper in 2013 for $250 million. It might be easy to look at this spending history with raised eyebrows, and Bezos’ ownership of the newspaper has been in the spotlight thanks to President Trump’s attacks, but it’s important to remember that Amazon’s advertising buys with other media outlets are not available for comparison. The company says that it does business with The Post “in the ordinary course” and all “terms negotiated on an arms-length basis,” according to the proxy statements.

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