Amazon is clearly not messing around these days. First, there was news that their tablet will very likely be affordable and functional. Now, there’s a rumor that the company is considering a subscription service, much like Netflix, but for books.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon is currently in talks with book publishers to launch a service which would allow customers to pay a set monthly fee to receive a certain number of books at a time. Publishers would very likely be compensated via a large fee for their involvement in the program.
This concept isn’t new, with websites like booksfree.com and bookswim.com offering up a similar service. The differences are two fold. First, those two sites are largely devoted to offline, physical books, not eBooks, which would likely be Amazon’s focus. Second, neither site has the strength associated with the Kindle brand. Amazon already has a enormous consumer base built up around the Kindle, so selling a subscription for books would be as easy as plastering it on their front page. Considering you don’t even need to own an actual Kindle to take advantage of Amazon’s tremendous library of ebooks, the whole thing becomes very compelling.
For now this is nothing more than an unconfirmed rumor, but if Amazon makes this happen I would expect it to be an instant success. Combining this service with the Amazon Kindle branded tablet could make for a huge holiday season for the online retailer. Would you subscribe to something like this? How much would be willing to pay per month?