Amazon launched a monthly subscription service that will allow e-readers to e-read unlimited e-books on their Kindles.
As the Bezos-owned Washington Post explained:
Here's how it'll work: For a monthly fee of $9.99, Kindle users can browse the Amazon bookstore and wherever they see the logo for Kindle Unlimited, they'll be able to download the title for free. Decide you don't like a book halfway through? Pick another one."
The question now is if this deal will actually be worth it. The Netflix model works for the casual sedentary binge-watcher. But is there really a demographic out there that binges on books? Especially if major titles are potentially excluded?
Kindle unlimited, netflix for books, was announced. Considering it takes me 2 months to read a book, that's a pass for me.— Jeff Fino (@jefino) July 19, 2014
Well, despite the buzz, the service already exists with subscription services like Oyster and Scribd. (Amazon Unlimited will offer 100,000 more titles than the former, and 200,000 more titles than the latter.) Here's what Time says about how Amazon stacks up:
When it comes to the question of which service offers the “best” books, things get a little muddy. Kindle Unlimited includes popular series like the Harry Potter books and the Hunger Games trilogy, as well as a a number of best-sellers, like Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, and some new titles such as Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis. But, as noted by GigaOm, the service does not include books from the “Big 5″ publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin Random House.
Unlike Amazon, Scribd and Oyster are the only services that have both HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster on board...for now.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.