Amazon Wants to be Netflix for Books
Amazon has been on a roll lately releasing a cloud music service, TV and movie streaming for Prime members, and even a subsidized Kindle with ads. All these changes and new features have given Amazon a 51% increase in their revenue in Q2 2011, which is their fastest growth in a while. According to the Wall Street Journal's sources Amazon is in talks with book publishers to allow customers access to a library of books for a monthly fee.
There's not a lot of details on how the service will work, but apparently it will only include older works with a limit to how many books a person can access each month. The book service will also be a part of the Amazon Prime membership which also gives you free shipping on Amazon products and access to streaming movies and TV shows.
The big question is will the book publishers go for it? Are they already seeing their business going digital and be willing to embrace a new way of consuming books and literature, or will they see it as a threat to their business? If Amazon was to get some publishers on board for a book subscription service, Amazon's already awesome Prime membership will begin to look irresistible, especially to frequent shoppers and Kindle owners.
I have a feeling that getting book publishers to loosen their grip on their published works is going to be difficult. I think there is going to be a lot of opposition in the very traditional publishing industry, but if Amazon was able to pull it off it could be a great service. Amazon is also rumored to release a 7" tablet device that is supposably going to give the iPad a run for it's money. A new tablet combined with an Amazon prime membership could be a great combo. WSJ Article Here