Amazon launches unlimited e-book subscription plan

July 19, 2014 - 2:21:31 am

NEW YORK: US online giant Amazon unveiled a Netflix-style subscription plan yesterday for unlimited access to e-books, a move which could shake up the world of publishing.

The $9.99 per month Kindle Unlimited programme offers access to some 600,000 titles in the Amazon Kindle format.

Subscribers will be able to access books on Amazon’s Kindle tablets and other devices with a Kindle app, including iPads and iPhones, Windows devices and Android-powered mobile gadgets.

Amazon is using a model made popular by Netflix for films and TV programmes, but also by services such as Spotify for music.

Colin Gillis at BGC Partners said the move to subscriptions is part of a trend towards “a ‘rent, not own’ society. We see it with music, with movies. It makes sense that they would do that with books.”

James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research, said Amazon is unlikely to have many new or bestselling books at the moment because it does not have the rights to include them in subscription packages.

Amazon will initially have many self-published books and titles from small and independent publishers but could use its market power to force the hand of major publishers, he said.

“The subscription idea is very popular with consumers for digital content,” McQuivey said. AFP

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