Amazon Launches “Kindle Unlimited”

by Rachel Baker on July 18, 2014

I’m not sure why anyone should have been surprised by this newest Amazon leak. They tested subscription service with Prime (and let’s face it, that’s what it was if you had a kindle). Second, they want to own the industry right? What’s the next step? Make Oyster and Scribd obsolete. Really, if you’ve been paying any amount of attention, this should be no surprise at all. In fact, I predict that we will see the subscription service sold with an incredibly discounted Kindle Fire; and then, when they’ve figured it out, we’ll see the subscription service on sale with an Amazon Glass-type product (which is a future reality since the Google Glass guy went to work for Amazon recently).

The problem is this: if the books that are pushed on Prime, are any indication, then the majority of books you will have access to for $10.00 a month will not be worth your time to read and unlimited books every month will not be very exciting. So, for $120.00 a month (and no free shipping) you will get books you can have access to for $20.00 less (or whatever the price of Prime is now) and shipping discounts with Amazon Prime. …just saying.

On sort of a different note, but very relevant – one can’t help but wonder what the behind the scenes issues are with the Hachette/Amazon contract, in light of this new “Kindle Unlimited” – does the challenge for Hachette have anything to do with something involving the way Amazon is planning on handling royalties when a book “purchase” falls under the “Kindle Unlimited” subscription umbrella?

Looked at that way, this whole thing may be way more interesting than what has been reported up to this point on the whole battle between the Amazon and Hachette.

As usual, it will be incredibly interesting to see how this works out and what else gets reported in the future.

Edit: The announcement of Kindle Unlimited came the day following this article (July 18th, 2014). The original title for this article was: Amazon reportedly testing Kindle Unlimited. It appears the only real thing of value in this subscription service is the audio books. According to the NY times, very few of the major publishers have books available at this time.

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