Jeez, I completely missed this one last week. Apparently, Amazon acquired Dpreview.com on May 14. The DPreview press release is here. For those uninitiated, Dpreview is a one-stop shop for in-depth reviews about photographic equipment. Phil Askey started the site in 1998 as a hobby, but the level of detail in his reviews and his completely thorough explanation of everything he discussed quickly made it the place for photographers (amateurs and professionals) to go to learn about the rapidly changing world of photographic equipment. Dpreview has about 7 million unique visitors every month.
I guess it makes sense that Amazon seeks to control some of the domain-specific expertise on the web – along with the users such sites attract, of course. I have no idea how many people click through and buy stuff after reading Dpreview’s reviews, but I know that it certainly is tempting. It will be interesting to see how this relationship unfolds. My guess is that if there is any decline in quality or detail of the reviews, readers will just punt and find another site. If Amazon can add even more value, other than just an easy purchase completion, then the site will likely get even more popular.