Amazon has been a leader in the eBook reader space since it first introduced the Kindle eReader in November 2007. At that point in time, the Kindle had a 6-inch E Ink display that supported just four shades of gray, it included 250MB of storage that could accommodate about 200 eBooks, and it retailed for $399. For the first six months or so, Amazon couldn’t keep the device in stock — it was a smash hit.
Just ahead of the release of Amazon’s highly anticipated Kindle Fire tablet, the company has added a new perk for Amazon Prime subscribers that could be the icing on the cake for future Fire owners. Beginning immediately, all Kindle eBook readers and the Kindle Fire tablet will have access to what Amazon has dubbed Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, a stash of thousands of books that may be “borrowed” indefinitely for free. Users may borrow one title per month, and the list of available books currently includes more than 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers. “Owning a Kindle just got even better. Today, we’re introducing a new Prime benefit built for Kindle: The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “Prime Members now have exclusive access to a huge library of books to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates.” BGR went hands-on with the Kindle Fire during Amazon’s press conference, and we can definitely see the retail giant making a dent in the tablet market quickly with this $199 offering, which launches on November 15th. The plethora of value-added services available on the device for Prime members will only improve the slate’s odds in a crowded market currently dominated by Apple. Some analysts believe Amazon could sell as many as 5 million tablets during the fourth quarter alone. Amazon’s Lending Library press release follows below. More →
Amazon and CBS have reached a licensing deal in which CBS will provide Amazon Prime subscribers with access to its television shows.The deal will add 2,000 TV episodes from popular shows such as The Tudors, Medium, Frasier, Cheers, Numb3rs, and the full Star Trek franchise to the Amazon Prime library, which already has more than 8,000 movies and TV shows. Amazon expects the content to be available during this summer and it confirmed that its Instant Video customers will also have access to the library. Read on for the full press release. More →
According to an unconfirmed report in The Wall Street Journal Monday, Amazon.com is in the early stages of developing a subscription streaming service that will compete with Netflix’s “Watch Instantly.” Citing anonymous sources, WSJ reports that the service will look to undercut Netflix’s offering, though no other points of differentiation were mentioned.
Amazon.com Inc. is developing a Netflix-like subscription service that would offer TV shows and movies, according to people familiar with the matter. That service would be included as a bundle with its Amazon Prime shipping service, which costs $79 a year, those people said.
Amazon Prime gives members free two-day shipping on all Amazon.com orders. It also offers overnight shipping for $3.99 per item. Lumping in streaming movies and TV shows for free with this unrelated service would be a peculiar move at best, though it would mirror Netflix’s original strategy, in a way. Though the company recently launched a streaming-only plan for $7.99 per month, Netflix first introduced Watch Instantly as a free add-on for its DVDs-by-mail service. At $79 per year, Amazon.com’s service would be $17 less expensive per year than Netflix’s least expensive streaming package. More →