Tech News

Amazon eBook Subscription Service Worries Publishers

September 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Render provided by Gizmodo. Not an actual product

With a Kindle tablet in the works, and expected in the coming months, Amazon is pushing its way into the tablet market.  The Kindle tablet is believed to have deep integration with Amazon’s suite of services, from digital downloads, to shopping, to ebooks.  A possible move by the world’s largest online retailer has publishers a little worried, though.  A new report in The Wall Street Journal claims that Amazon is in talks to offer a subscription ebook service similar to Netflix.  No monthly cost has yet been floated for the service, and details remain sketchy.

The service would allow subscribers to access a limited number of titles per month from the Kindle store.  At this point it is thought that many of these would be older titles in the database, with new releases still being offered on the current pay-per-title plan.  The ebook service may become part of Amazon Prime, as well.  Understandably, the idea has some publishers worried.  If Amazon can ink the deal it would be one more reason for folks to pick up their new tablet, since the purchase of the device includes a year of Amazon Prime membership.

The service, though, might make publisher’s lives more difficult as they work with other book vendors.  A subscription-style book service, while it may be worthwhile to heavy readers, could cause already-struggling book publishers to lose even more cash, since a large segment of Kindle readers would no longer be buying a whole bunch of individual titles.  We’ll be watching this story as it develops.  Would this feature lure you toward a Kindle tablet?

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