It sounds like Amazon.com is planning to launch a service for their customers that resembles the Netflix plan – it will allow for a possibly restricted, certainly chargeable, month-long access to an eBook library.
It certainly worked for Netflix and movies, why not for Amazon and eBooks?
The idea seems to be that for a monthly fee, customers would have limited access to a library of works which sounds to be starting off with older works rather than the newest of the new. It also sounds as if they might extend this to the already established Amazon Prime membership.
As an Amazon Prime member, I would have automatic access to this library once it debuted. Which is pretty nice, considering I pay $79 a year to have free 2nd day shipping and access to a small collection of movies and tv shows. Adding eBooks would take no skin of my nose because I already benefit.
However, I have to wonder whether it might seem worth it to someone else who isn’t already a Prime member to pay a monthly fee for books they likely have already read or have little or no interest in reading.
Like Netflix, the producers/publishers have a strong contribution to make to a decision such as this. Netflix only recently lost the support of the Starz programming which is going to severely cripple their streaming movie offerings. I don’t recall hearing why Starz backed out of the agreement, but I willing to assume that it has something to do with the whole “loss of earnings” that movie producers have been complaining about. I am also willing to assume that already nervous publishers will have similar objections to a plan that will essentially take money out of their pockets – or so they assume.
Who knows? Amazon.com’s plan might actually work out to be far more lucrative than Netflix’s movie streaming and in the long run more and more publishers might jump on board. Which would essentially result in more eBooks being available on a plan such as this one. And chances are even newer works would eventually get added to the library.
There is no way to predict success or failure, however, until we see the plan in action. And I for one am quite intrigued to hear the details of this plan. Especially considering Amazon announced earlier this year a plan to cooperate with local libraries. And for that, we all still await some kind of official announcement.
And the reality is that much of this is indeed rumor since Amazon doesn’t seem to have made any official announcement regarding any of these services.
In the meantime, share with us: given the option to pay a monthly fee and have access to a dubiously limited library, would you jump at it? Or are you like me – already an Amazon Prime member and willing to see what its like before having to pay another dime?