Amazon, Publishers Discuss Possible Netflix-Like Digital Book Subscription
September 12, 2011 5:33 AM
This content would be available to Amazon Prime members, who pay $79 per year for unlimited two-day shipping as well as access to digital movies and TV shows
Amazon has already taken command of the digital books world with its
e-book reader Kindle
, but may be taking its efforts a step further by offering a library of content through an annual subscription service for digital readers.
Amazon is currently talking with book publishers about a Netflix-like subscription service that offers users an entire library of digital books for one annual fee.
The Wall Street Journal
, Amazon told publishers it is looking to feature older titles in its digital library. This content would be available to
members, who pay $79 per year for unlimited two-day shipping as well as access to digital movies and TV shows.
Some publishing executives are not so sure about Amazon's plan, though. They believe that offering books at such low prices could decrease the overall value of books, making it so customers always expect more for less. Also, such a deal could damage publishers' relationships with other retailers that sell their books.
At the same time, publishers are looking for new ways to deliver content digitally because more people are carrying mobile devices like tablets, Kindles and smartphones.
To ease publishers' minds, Amazon said it would pay them a substantial fee for taking part in the subscription service, and would also limit the number of free books an Amazon Prime member could read on a monthly basis.
So far, it is unknown whether any book publishers have signed on to the new service.
releasing its new tablet
next month, it will likely encourage publishers to jump on board with the service in order to have enough content to push sales of its mobile devices.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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