Amazon tests Kindle Unlimited, a Netflix-like book subscription service

Kindle Paper White flat angle
Good news, book lovers. Amazon is reportedly testing out a new ebook subscription service called Kindle Unlimited, which will allow users to read an unlimited number of books for $10 a month. Screenshots of the test site for the service were spotted by GigaOm and removed on Wednesday, but you can still see them in a Google cache if you’re interested.

Ebooks can be expensive, especially for voracious readers who tackle more than one title a month. The idea of offering a unlimited ebook subscription service is hardly new, but as one of the most popular proliferators of ebooks, Amazon’s service has a better chance than most of attracting users.

Scribd offers unlimited ebooks for $9 a month and Oyster gives the same option for $10 a month after a free trial. Both offer a selection of 400,000 to 500,000 ebooks, which is impressive. The apps also work on Android and iOS devices, as well as Kindle ebook readers.

The main advantage Amazon’s service seems to have is that it offers more titles, coming in at 600,000+, and it has strong partnerships with all the major publishers (except maybe Hachette — the two companies aren’t on speaking terms right now), so it should get more titles, as soon as it hammers out deals with them. Amazon will also offer access to thousands of audio books — we are hoping that this means Audible is included in this subscription. According to the leaked images, Kindle Unlimited should work on any device that currently supports Amazon services.

Amazon already offers free ebooks with its Prime membership, but for those who just want books, Kindle Unlimited will be a welcome addition to the app world. It’s unclear when it would launch exactly and if these numbers are final, but it follows an emerging pattern in Amazon’s strategy. Once the ebook subscription service launches, Amazon will offer separate subscriptions for almost every form of media imaginable, including TV, movies, music, and ebooks.

This move would also put Amazon in competition with Oyster, which also offers a monthly subscription for book access.


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