Amazon, the online retail giant, has launched an eBook subscription offer, Kindle Unlimited. The $9.99 per month service allows customers access to over 600,000 Kindle books and thousands of audiobooks. Subscribers also get a complimentary three-month Audible membership which includes access to all Audible titles. Audible is an Amazon subsidiary.
Kindle Unlimited is available in the US from July 18, 2014 and can be accessed from Amazon’s Kindle family of tablets and eReaders as well as the Kindle reading app on other platforms.
Kindle Unlimited serves two prima facie purposes for Amazon:
eBook subscription services compare similarly to digital movie and TV subscriptions like Netflix in that they run on a windowing system. Historically, publishing ran on a windowed system with expensive hardbacks released first and cheaper paperbacks coming out at a later date. Digital creates a third window not dissimilar to windowing that occurs with movies and TV. eBook subscriptions services are able to exploit older content and provide them in digital format while also releasing newer content.