Amazon announced its new Kindle Unlimited, a $9.99 per month unlimited reading and listening service that provides access to more than 600,000 Kindle books and thousands of audiobooks from Audible. It will be available for the Kindle as well as iOS and Android mobile devices through the Amazon Kindle app. Analysts suggest that the service, which will compete with existing ebook subscription services Scribd and Oyster, could spark as much as $1 billion in growth for Amazon.
According to the press release, access is available “across Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps for iPhone, iPad, Android tablets and phones, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, PC, Mac and Windows 8.”
Readers can also switch between reading and listening to audiobook titles that are enabled with the Whispersync for Voice feature.
“Piper Jaffray noted that Amazon would need to attract some bigger-name publishers for the service to truly gain traction, as many books advertised weren’t from large publishing houses,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “The company also faces pressure from startups that could undercut its new offering. Amazon, for its part, noted Friday that best-sellers such as the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games series and The Lord of the Rings trilogy are included in the service.”
Many of the titles are available via the Kindle Owners Lending Library that allows Prime members to borrow one ebook per month.
“There is a new button in the book buying interface — ‘Read for Free’ — but it is unclear how royalties are shared with authors,” notes TechCrunch.
For those interested in the Kindle Unlimited service, Amazon has launched a free 30-day trial.
What Kindle Unlimited Means for Authors, TechCrunch, 7/18/14
Amazon Isn’t Killing Writing, The Market Is, TechCrunch, 7/17/14
Amazon is Testing “Kindle Unlimited,” an Ebook Subscription Service for $9.99/Month, GigaOM, 7/16/14