Yesterday Amazon acquired popular London-based digital camera review site DPReview for undisclosed terms. DPreview, which was founded in 1998 by Phil Askey, offers unbiased, reviews of digital cameras and accessories as well as discussion forums, industry news and a product comparison database.
The DPReview site, which has fans on both sides of the Atlantic, has become extremely popular. For March, the site had more than 7m unique viewers. That coincides with the rapid growth in the digital camera marketplace. Last year (digital still-photography) generated nearly $18b in camera sales.
An article on financial news blog Seeking Alpha is noting that the back&ndashend infrastructure for DPReview’s ecommerce links has been provided historically by CNET. If that report is accurate, the purchase by Amazon could steal away some traffic from CNET’s monthly totals.
Following the announcement, web forums have been filled with speculation about the terms of the deal. The web has also been abuzz with questions of whether DPreview will retain its editorial independence. DPReview has largely been known for its unbiased reviews. Fans are questioning whether they will continue to be able offer the same unbiased quality of services that built the site’s reputation if it is now owned by a retailer who will have a vested interest in the reporting it offers. Without that independence DPReview will be no different than any of the many companies providing professional, or user-rated, reviews of cameras: from Yahoo to AOL, etc.