Amazon continues to disrupt the publishing industry. After changing the way books are consumed — and pushing out brick-and-mortar booksellers in the process — the online goliath is now taking on The New York Times Bestseller List, forever been the standard of success for authors and publishers.
Amazon today is starting its own imprimatur, Amazon Charts, and you can bet the biggest mover of books will do what is necessary to get its stamp included on book covers and supplant NYT as it pushes to have its own figures institutionalized. The service will chart both Most Read and Most Sold criteria. It will give credence to the volume of books that it moves online, both to Kindle and iPads, and in the number of actual books bought and shipped from the Amazon site.
Things have never been cordial between Amazon and The New York Times Bestseller List. The latter uses its own algorithm that insiders say excludes books that Amazon publishes on its own imprint because they are not sold in bookstores. Amazon has the ability not only to know how many books are sold online, but how many are actually read.
Here in Cannes, Netflix is making its disruptive presence felt all over the Croisette, premiering its first two films in competition, and today spending nearly $20 million for world rights to a stop motion movie on Michael Jackson’s chimp companion Bubbles, which so far is the biggest deal at the festival. Amazon Studios will likely make its own noise here, but I’m told its new bestseller list project will be truly disruptive in the book world.