Amazon may be considering launching an eBook “streaming” service, similar to Netflix, where subscribers would be charged an annual fee for content access, according to a new report.
Initially the plan would be offered to Amazon Prime customers, who currently pay $79 annually for unlimited two–day shipping on select products and streaming access to the online retailer’s digital TV and movie library. Subscribers would be able to choose from a selection of older titles, as they do with movie streaming.
Though the exact policies of the proposal have not been revealed, it is suggested that Amazon intends to limit the number of free titles readers could access each month, perhaps to ease publishers’ fears that the service would eat into sales. According to the report, a few of the publishers Amazon has talked with also worry the open access to titles might lower the perceived value of books to consumers and strain the publishers’ relationships with other retailers.
Yet Amazon is reportedly offering generous fees to publishers that participate. If these rumors are true, the eBook subscription plan could be bundled with Amazon’s upcoming Kindle tablet. The expected tablet is rumored to be Android-based and will focus on the company’s vast content network, offering the elements of video, music and eBooks purchased from the Amazon store and saved in its cloud storage.