Amazon Layoffs Will Shut Down Camera Review Site DPReview After 25 Years

Andrew Cunningham, reporting for Ars Technica:

Amazon has plans to lay off at least 27,000 workers this year, including 9,000 that were announced in an internal email Monday morning. One unexpected casualty: Digital Photography Review, also known as DPReview, is losing its entire editorial staff, and the site will stop publishing on April 10.

The announcement post, written by DPReview General Manager Scott Everett, says that new pieces will continue to be posted through April 10, and “the site will be locked” afterward. It’s unclear what will happen to the site’s content afterward — the post promises only that the site’s articles “will be available in read-only mode for a limited period afterwards.” [...]

Founded in November 1998, DPReview is one of the few active review sites as old as Ars Technica. Amazon purchased it in 2007, and the site’s team has been located in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle since 2010.

The “DP” in “DPReview” stands for “digital photography”. The site is so old that that was necessary, because in 1998 most pro and prosumer photography equipment still revolved around shooting on film. DPReview went all-in on digital photography at a time when many photographers were deeply skeptical of its potential, because the technology was nascent. I’ve bought a fair amount of photography kit over the last 25 years, and never once bought a camera or lens without first reading and watching what DPReview had to say about it. I just bought my first new standalone camera in years a few weeks ago — the Ricoh GR IIIx — and DPReview’s review was the one that sealed the deal for me.

Layoffs are brutal, always, but it feels especially cruel that Amazon is noncommittal regarding keeping DPReview’s content around in perpetuity. Why only keep it available “for a limited time”? How much could it cost to just keep it around forever? Did they even try to sell it? How about letting the staff take over the site as part of their severance?

Wednesday, 22 March 2023