Update 3/11/15 2:15 p.m. ET: Kickstarter contacted us to clarify that the new Amazon store was not created in partnership with Kickstarter. Amazon likely worked directly with the project creators.
Both The New York Times and Amazon are tapping into successful Kickstarter campaigns. Amazon announced today it will feature successfully funded Kickstarter products on its Amazon Exclusives page, while The New York Times is hosting an online festival spotlighting one Kickstarter-funded short-form documentary per week for the next six weeks.
They’re low-cost, low-risk moves for both The New York Times and Amazon, allowing the crowdfunding campaigns to do the R&D and marketing legwork before selecting from those that have already “succeeded.” Both deals are also valuable endorsements of Kickstarter’s crowdfunding model and an acknowledgment that cream can come from Kickstarter’s crop. Many of Kickstarter’s projects are small-scale operations, with most raising less than $10,000.
The documentaries selected for The New York Times’ “Made With Kickstarter” series run the gamut of human interest: weird Americana, triumphs against adversity, a dying lifestyle from another age, even a 9/11 story. Each would provide low-cost, low-effort access to exclusive content that can be published across The Grey Lady’s channels.
As it highlights Kickstarter successes in its Exclusives, Amazon won’t have to do much besides weigh the appeal of a developed product that’s already broken through on its home turf: the Internet. (“Exclusives” is a bit of a misnomer–Amazon gets exclusive third-party rights, but the products can still be sold on their home pages directly by their creators, according to Engadget.) Amazon hasn’t said whether it will also get a share of the data from the campaigns it features.
These two experiments might save The New York Times and Amazon time and money developing projects and products, but it’s a definite win for Kickstarter, which will benefit from the exposure and new retail and content avenues. Check out our picks for the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies Backed by Kickstarter here.