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Amazon Working on Netflix Model for Digital Books

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So far, digital books, or e-books, are only available to users on an a la carte basis, meaning that they pay per book title. However, that may change if Amazon can sway publishers into allowing users to rent books utilizing a premium subscription model similar to what Netflix employs for movies and TV shows. There are still a number of issues to be worked out, and publishers may exclude the most recent book titles from appearing in the Amazon rental library, much like how Netflix is confined to older titles for its streaming services.

The book rental service may find a home with Amazon Prime, a premium Amazon service that gives users free two-day shipping, low cost one-day shipping option, and free streaming titles from Amazon’s streaming movies and TV show collection. Prime subscribers who pay their $79 a year due can also have access to Amazon’s forthcoming e-book catalog if the mega online retailer can pull its weight with publishers.

The service could also help Amazon entice users to its Android-based Kindle tablets that are rumored to be coming. However, it appears that the negotiations may still be in the early stages as publishers aren’t too keen on users being able to subscribe to read their books and would prefer that customers buy the digital copy outright instead, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It’s unclear still how Amazon would work out pricing. The Journal reports that Amazon will pay publishers who sign on a significant amount, and the retailer may work out a tiered pricing model with consumers to allow consumers a finite number of free books per month and ask customers to pay for additional levels of membership of they’re avid readers.

The move would allow Amazon to bring more affordable content, in the form of services, to its tablet as the company is speculated to soon be entering the competitive tablet market. For its part, Amazon already offers a la carte ebook purchases through its Kindle store.

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

7 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    09/12/2011 at 3:21 pm

    It’s unclear still how Amazon would work out pricing. The Journal reports that Amazon will pay publishers who sign on a significant amount, and the retailer may work out a tiered pricing model with consumers to allow…@John:disqus I just got a $829.99 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HDTV for only $251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use http://bit.ly/grab2016

  2. Anonymous

    09/12/2011 at 7:52 pm

    Amazon’s new “digital” library attempt is just a weak try to
    overcome Nook’s huge advantage over Kindle as Nook (unlike Kindle) provides
    ability to check out library eBooks, and there are a huge number of libraries
    that provide ebooks in ePub format ( that Nook supports but Kindle doesn’t.)
    Also, if one goes to any Barnes & Noble store with a Nook, one’s allowed to
    read any available eBook for free while in the store via free provided in the
    store Wi-Fi – another “library” option that is already there.

    Current e-Ink Nook Simpletouch is much better than current
    e-ink Kindle as Nook has the latest generation touch screen display, no page
    turn lag, it weights less, its battery lasts twice as long, and it doesn’t
    blink on each page turn – much better than current Kindle 3.

  3. Feralboy

    09/13/2011 at 3:45 am

    Isn’t Safari Books already using this model?

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