Amazon is speaking to publishers about a subscription
service – akin to a Netflix fore books – according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The service would allows Kindle owners to access a vast library of
contents for a yearly subscription, but the company is having problems
convincing a number of publishers to get on-board, according to the sources who
spoke to the WSJ.
A number of executives at publishing houses believe that
such a digital media library would lower the value of books and could strain their
relationships with other retailers that sell their books.
While details of the service are thin on the ground at the
moment, it is believed that the subscription to this digital library would be
included with a $79-a-year Amazon Prime package. Sources also said the content
which would be available would be older books, rather than new releases.
Amazon is hoping to off-set the worry of publishers by
offering them a sizeable fee for participating in the scheme and even limiting
the number of books users can view each month.
Amazon announced last April that it was going to begin
lending ebooks through 11,000 public libraries in the US in a partnership with OverDrive,
who provide digital content solutions to libraries in the
States, in a bid to create “a seamless library borrowing experience” for Kindle
That system is still to come online in
the US, and will no doubt take quite a while to come available on this side of
the pond – as no doubt would be the case for the subscription service too, when or if that ever comes to fruition.
Source: Wall Street Journal