My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Amazon launches US$9.99 Kindle Unlimited - Oyster and Scribd got served by Earth’s Most Customer Centric Company but pay Indies Publishers better

Monday, July 21, 2014

Amazon launches US$9.99 Kindle Unlimited - Oyster and Scribd got served by Earth’s Most Customer Centric Company but pay Indies Publishers better

“With Kindle Unlimited, you won't have to think twice before you try a new author or genre -- you can just start reading and listening. In addition to offering over 600,000 eBooks, Kindle Unlimited is also by far the most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks and eBooks together. With thousands of Whispersync for Voice-enabled audiobooks to choose from, you can easily switch between reading and listening to a book, allowing the story to continue even when your eyes are busy”

Kindle Senior Vice President, Russ Grandinetti, commenting on Amazon's launch of Kindle Unlimited

Amazon is still in the Book business it seems. After all, before the Amazon Kindle, Kindle Fire, Fire Tv and Fire Smartphone came along as noted in my blog article entitled US$199 Amazon Fire smartphone is Amazon Prime member's Nirvana – Shopping by Nodding your Head and Finding Waldo”, their chief #Breadandbutter was selling books!

So I’m proud to announce that Amazon has decided to launch an unlimited Subscription all-you-can-read Service called Kindle Unlimited as reported in “Amazon rolls out $9.99 Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription”, published July 18, 2014 4:53 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News and “Amazon Officially Announces Kindle Unlimited, Offering Endless Reading And Listening For $9.99 A Month”, published July 18, 2014 by John Biggs, Techcrunch.

Amazon Kindle Unlimited – Oyster and Scribd got served by Earth’s Most Customer Centric Company

This is basically their answer to Oyster Books who launched a similar App based all-you-can-read US$9.95 per month service back in September 2013 as I'd chronicled my blog article entitled “Oyster Books launchers US$9.95 Apple iPhone App for lending 100,000 book titles - Amazon Kindle Lending just got competition”.

Back then, it was for Apple iPhone and Apple iPad; now there's an app for all smartphones, including Nokia smartphones running Windows Phone OS and Amazon’s own Kindle Fire and Nook HD. Scribd offers a similar service, costing $8.99 per month. All reasons as to why Amazon would make their Kindle Unlimited offer now; Oyster and Scribd were taking away their customers!

Like Oyster and Scribd, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited offers a free one month trial, making this yet another “free” Book Service like those listed in my blog article entitled “US$199 Amazon Kindle Paperwhite upgrades Hardware and Software - How to find free Ebooks and e-Book Readers for Laptops and PC”.

Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited offers some 600,000 Kindle titles and more than 150,000 titles via a complimentary three month Audible audiobooks offer. Subscriber to Kindle Unlimited can find titles that are a part of this unlimited month long Online Library by simply searching the Kindle Book store and looking for titles labled “Read for Free”.

Best of all, this offer is open to all Kindle Paperwhite as well as BlackBerry phones, Apple iOS devices, Google Android devices, Windows Phone smartphones as well as Desktop and Laptop users that have the Amazon Kindle App installed.

The difference with the Amazon Kindle Unlimited, dear reader, is in the amount of titles and the scope of the offer:

1.      2001: A Space Odyssey
2.      Animal Farm
3.      Cat's Cradle
4.      Diary of a Wimpy Kid
5.      For Dummies book series
6.      Harry Potter series
7.      Kitchen Confidential
8.      Lonely Planet travel guides
9.      The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
10.  The Good Earth
11.  The Lord of the Rings trilogy
12.  The Princess Bride

The Audio Books, a unique offer to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited Service, sports some equally listen-worthy titles:

1.      Boardwalk Empire
2.      Hunger Games trilogy
3.      Life of Pi
4.      The Handmaid's Tale
5.      The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

However, the so-called Big 5 Publishers, who are a part of Oyster and Scribd, aren’t a part of Amazon’s Bestseller lineup as noted in “How Amazon’s New E-book Subscription Service Stacks Up”, published July 18, 2014 by Kristen Bellstrom, Time.com:

1.      Hachette
2.      HarperCollins
3.      Macmillan
4.      Penguin Random House
5.      Simon & Schuster

Amazon Prime users cheated – Oyster and Scribed pay Independent and Big 5 Publishers handsomely

All this must have Amazon Prime users quite upset. After all, they’ve paid US$90 for unlimited 2 day shipping and the added perk of streaming video, streaming music and one-per-month e-book rentals.

Now as Streaming for books is set to start thanks to competition from Oyster and Scribd as concluded in “Kindle Unlimited: it's the end of losing yourself in a good book”, published Sunday  20 July  2014 by John Naughton, the UK Guardian, Amazon Prime and regular Amazon customers are now at a three-way Crossroads!

Clearly, this is a new service aimed at catching new Readers who may plan to purchase the Amazon Fire “people’s phone” smartphone by Friday July 25th 2014 as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Amazon Fire is a Volkswagen for Amazon Prime subscribers that’ll drive shop-on-the-go Online Obsession”.

Now for an extra US$8.99, you can get an unlimited library on your Kindle Fire? Why isn’t this just introduced as another service under Amazon Prime, being as they’re already have a Book Lending Scheme?

The missing Big 5 Publishers may also be a deal-breaker for many considering Amazon's Kindle Unlimited Service, as Oyster and Scribd. That’s because they pay writers overall, be they Independent publishers or writing under the banner of the Big 5 Publishers a lot more money as stated in “Kindle Unlimited: Good for customers, not so good for authors?”, published July 19, 2014 4:00 AM PDT by Nick Statt, CNET News.

It seems that for a service described as Unlimited, it has a lot of limitations aimed squarely at Amazon Prime users and Independent publishers as noted in “What are the limits of Kindle Unlimited”, published July 19, 2014 4:01 AM PDT by Donna Tam, CNET News. In the end, it may succeed in pushing more Amazon users and Independent Publishers towards Oyster and Scribd!

So which service will you pick as the book industry becomes more like the equivalent of Streaming in the Music Industry as stated in my blog article entitled “Nielsen Stats record continued decline in Music Downloads - Developed World Streaming will catch on in Developed World once we get 4G LTE”? The choice is really yours, my friend, once you weigh the evidence!

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