Amazon testing $10 per month Netflix-like service for eBooks


kindle unlimited

With the skyrocketing success of Netflix, many companies have been exploring low-cost monthly subscription models for many different services. Video is the obvious choice to copy for most people, but Amazon is looking to go a different direction — they want to do for eBooks what Netflix did for video.

The company was found to be testing a service called Kindle Unlimited that will cost $10 per month and give you unlimited access to over 600,000 eBooks and audiobooks. It wouldn’t be the first platform of its kind, but there’s no company with a backing as big as Amazon’s currently in the arena. Amazon’s clout and money give them a significant advantage to offer a service that provides a great deal more value than what’s currently out there.

This isn’t the first time Amazon would have tested such a model. They currently offer a much smaller incentive included with their Prime subscription program, allowing users to rent one free book per month alongside all the other benefits that come with Prime. Kindle Unlimited would be on a far larger scale.

That might come with a few drawbacks, though. For starters, the biggest, hottest and latest releases are probably out of the question — you want access to those right away, you’ll probably have to buy them. But that would be no different than having to wait for older shows and movies to reach Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Basically, you’d get what you pay for — the potential to read books at pennies on the dollar instead of the $5 or $10 they might otherwise cost if bought individually. We obviously wouldn’t recommend this to folks who don’t read a lot, but if you’re one to thumb through a stack of books each month it could be worth your while. Let’s hope we hear something official soon.

[via GigaOM]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Maybe not for me as I don’t read as much as I’d like, but for my son I’d jump on this in a heartbeat. I’ve spent over $25 in books in just the last three days and he’s already read them all. Ugh. This would save me a ton of money and keep him reading w/o being constrained by my budget.

    1. Oh yeah I wasn’t thinking about children books.

      1. Are you going make children read? Do you want to go to jail for Endangering the welfare of a Minor?

    2. any reason you don’t just check books out at the library?

      1. Yeah I take him to a library often as well, but he wants to keep the books as he reads, rereads and reads again. I’ve never seen someone who loves to reread books he has read multiple times. One of the reasons I moved him to a Kindle is due to him loving to keep his books and his bookshelf was already overflowing.
        Also, the library doesn’t always have the books he wants to read (we live out in the country, so the library is not a large one).

        1. I reread series from time to time like His Dark Materials from Philip Pullman and the The Old Kingdom/Abhorsen by Garth Nix as well.

          so yeah there are several people who reread books

    3. You should check out a library. They have childrens books for free there

  2. The problem with this is that a book could take 2 weeks or a month to read where as a movie on Netflix takes about 2 hours.

    1. I can personally finish long books in a few days so yeah. For the average reader I can understand 2 weeks+ tho.

  3. This type of service is long overdue, but the publishing industry fights it every step of the way. We need a service like this with all books. I’m ok with brand new books not being there right away I suppose…

  4. This will be fantastic, right now through Audible they do a $15/month subscription and you only get 1 audiobook a month. If this is genuinely unlimited for $10/month for both ebooks and audiobooks, I’ll sign up immediately. I drive enough to go through 2-3 audibooks on the road a month, and would like to have access to a few more books to read when I’m not driving!

  5. One thing this would need for me is that it isn’t restricted to a bargain bin of older, no longer great selling books. I keep up with a few book series and would love this if the books were available right away. Ie. If this was out when harry potter was released, would we get harry potter with the service?

  6. If it includes textbooks sign me up

  7. I’ve been pushing for this for years now. The problem with this model, as defined, is it’s WAY overpriced. $120 a year? Most people read a book or two a year. For $8 a month I can watch entire shows or pay $2 MORE and maybe, if I’m lucky, read a single book in that span. $5 a month? Then I consider it. More than Netflix? No way.

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