Please Tell Me "Kindle Unlimited" Is For Real

Will we finally see a digital book subscription option?

July 16, 2014

Is the Kindle Unlimited subscription service that GigaOm first reported for real?

GigaOm cached an Amazon test page, (which is now gone), that includes the following text: 

“Introducing Kindle Unlimited.  Enjoy unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device for just $9.99 a month”.

The tagline is “Freedom to Explore”.

There is some question about just how many Kindle and Audible books would be included in the subscription service.  

Would you sign up?

How does $9.99 a month sound to you?

I’ve been dreaming about such a service since 2010.

See my posts:

An Amazon Digital Book Rental Plan? (October 2010).

What Would You Pay to Rent Any Kindle Book? (2011)

Give Us a Spotify for Audible (2013)

I’ve also written about my early impressions of the Oyster e-book subscription service.

My take is that $9.99 a month is cheap, but cheap only if the catalogue of available Kindle and Audible books is complete.

I would pay $1 a day to have full access to the Kindle and Audible catalogue.

I’d read more, read more widely, and take more chances on the books that I start.  As it stands, I tend to play it safe when choosing my books, as the direct and opportunity costs for choosing the wrong books are high.

The fact that this is coming from Amazon (maybe, hopefully) raises the question about how come the publishers don’t get ahead of this curve?

What is to present the publishing houses from collaborating to offer their own subscription service for e-books and audiobooks?  Is this a legal issue?  Would it be collusion?

The example of music makes it very clear that many consumers want a subscription option.  Services like Spotify and Pandora have pushed the number of songs that are streamed up 42 percent in the first half of 2014 as compared to the same time last year, while digital downloads declined by 11.6 percent in the same time frame.  

Why should Amazon get be the only player in the market able to offer digital books, in e-book and audio format, as a monthly subscription?

Assuming that Amazon gets there first, and that there aren’t any other competing services, I wonder how much would you pay for Kindle Unlimited?


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