Amazon to offer unlimited books

21 July 2014

kindle Amazon have pulled the covers of their next wheeze, a Netflix-style subscription.

The plan is to allow unlimited access for e-books, which is going to put the cat among the book pigeons for sure.

The $9.99 per month Kindle Unlimited offers access to 600,000 titles in the Kindle format.

Subscribers will be able to access the books on Amazon's Kindle tablets, as well as other devices with a Kindle app, including iPads and iPhones, Windows devices and Android-powered mobile gadgets.

Amazon is using a model made popular by Netflix for films and television programs, but also by services such as Spotify for music.

This all sounds a bit like rum news ahead for the world of publishing, but Colin Gillis at BGC Partners reckons the move to subscriptions is part of a trend toward "a 'rent, not own' society. We see it with music, with movies. It makes sense that they would do that with books."

Understandably not everything will be available immediately on the service, but future releases could come as part of a deal to lure people into the service.

Publishers meanwhile are resisting the subscription model because it effectively cuts the price of books and royalties paid.

Despite this, Amazon knows that some of its readers will be up for it, said James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research: "Amazon knows its customers," the analyst said. "They know if you read a mystery every week, they know whether they are in a position to make you an offer you can't refuse."

"If you're a one book a month reader and a best seller person, this isn't going to work for you," McQuivey said.

The Kindle Unlimited service will also include audio books available through the Audible service. The service is initially being launched for US customers, with other countries likely to follow.

TOPICS:   Gadgets


  • Aelynn
    If this is anything like their Kindle Lending Library book "selection", then this new service will be utterly useless. Apart from offering a few well-known books like the Harry Potter series (so they can lure people in), there is very little worth reading in those "thousands" of books. I've only ever found one book worth borrowing/reading in the lot, as most of them are self-published drivel. To make matters worse, they still force you to browse for books from your Kindle, which is a real pain. As far as I know there isn't an easy way to check which books can be borrowed on another device. The same crap applies to their Prime Instant Video selection. Very little there worth watching, apart from a few well-known movies/shows to give the illusion the service is worth it.
  • Olly
    Well done Amazon. You've just invented a library.

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