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Kindle Unlimited to become the Spotify of books and audiobooks

Andrew Williams


Kindle Unlimited
Kindle Unlimited

Amazon is to expand its lending library service with Amazon Unlimited, a subscription service that will give you access to thousands of audiobooks and hundreds of thousands of ebooks.

A promo banner for Amazon Unlimited has popped-up on the US Amazon site, confirming the existence of the next big news in the ebook world.

It’s a pay-monthly service for use with Kindle ereaders and the various Kindle apps that will give you access to thousands of audiobooks and 600,000 regular books for $9.99 a month, in the US at least.

As is common with Amazon’s big tech developments, there’s no sign of it coming to the UK, and we may be in for a long wait before it gets here.

However, for the start at least it doesn’t look like we’ll be missing out on something too critical.

The service’s rumoured 638,416-strong library lacks titles from most of the biggest publishers and – predictably – the books in the current Kindle Lending Library are present and correct.

It could be great news for audiobook fans, though. Commercial audiobooks are generally sold at quite a premium, and the most famous repository of audiobooks, the Amazon-owned Audible, only gives you access to one audiobook a month for your £7.99 subscription.

Of course, as Amazon doesn’t want to drown its own pet, it seems highly unlikely Amazon Unlimited will get anything like the library of Audible, which has over 100,000 titles,

We already have a good idea of the range of books that will be available, as Amazon offers a selection of 7000-odd Whispersync audiobooks, which let you read and listen to a book, with Kindle keeping track of where you are.

There are a couple of these book subscription sites in the US, Oyster and Scribd being the most well-known, but neither has made a UK launch yet. They’re based on a similar notion, though.

Oyster charges $9.95 a month, Scribd $9 a month, and both give you access to hundreds of thousands of books.

We’ll be keeping an eye out of an official Kindle Unlimited announcement, but given the UK delay involved in the launch of the Kindle Fire range and Amazon Kindle Owners Lending Library, it seems unlikely it’ll come to the UK this year.

via Businessweek

Next, check out our list of the best TV series on Netflix UK

Art Hodges

July 17, 2014, 5:05 pm

Sounds like a great deal for heavy Kindle readers, like myself. Of course, the devil is always in the details. Since the offer's only good for those "600,000 titles," quoted in their promo page, that leaves the most important question: well . . . can I at least read all / most digital books in the genres that interest me?
Nosing around the promo page will quickly reveal broken or non-functional links, including the "video". Still, it's an intriguing offer for many of us, and bears watching.

Dora S

July 20, 2014, 12:54 am

Andrew, you won't want any of these services to come to the UK, and I should be surprised if they did, since the English have a reputation for being intelligent and able to read. I mean, the English won't put up for one minute with being offered 500,000 books nobody can read, let alone an offering of no book worth more than $4. And they'd quietly cut the offenders out of the market so fast and so thoroughly that they wouldn't know what hit them.

Amazon "unlimited" e-book service is limited indeed. I want advanced books on
Linux. Scribd has a few. Oyster books has a good selection, including for instance the dummies books on how to program for Linux as well as C and C++.. Amazon includes ONLY books it sells for under $4; nothing over 100 pages and nothing for even halfway advanced users.

On the other hand, Oyster, with its 500,000 books and decent selection, must have done outdone the entire Internet for complete idiocy. I verified with their customer support, that one can only read their books on three, or four, depending on whether one believes the list or the actual links provided to the apps - $300+ gidgets,
including only the newest and most expensive of Amazon's kindle devices. It is not possible to read Oyster books on a computer, not with ANY operating system. I was told in a bright and stupid tone that they may deign to make this absolute basic that logically preceded availability on any high priced device, available in the future if they happen to feel like it. ???!!!!!!!! How do you have a 500,000 book library and noone can read them on a PC, or at all unless they have $500 for a Goggle Whatever. I don't know how they managed to come up with the financial backing to offer 500,000 books, with so little solidity to what they offer.

If this industry doesn't grow heads it won't be around long.

Can you see someone actively using a textbook on C+ in a little Android phone. .... still muttering....

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