Friday, April 29, 2011

A cheaper E-reader with advertising(?)

It was bound to happen. The commercial interests at Amazon are selling an edition of their Kindle reader at less than the normal price. How do you purchase one? You have to agree to some ads on your Kindle. These are, Amazon claims, discreet ads. They won't interefere with the text or your reading experience, but they will advertise Amazon products and services as screensavers between books.
The kinds of Amazon services readers will see are:
* $10 for $20 Gift Card
* $6 for 6 Audible Books (normally $68)
* $1 for an album in the Amazon MP3 Store (choose from over 1 million albums)
* $10 for $30 of products in the Amazon Denim Shop or Amazon Swim Shop
* Free $100 Gift Card when you get an Amazon Rewards Visa Card (normally $30)
* Buy one of 30 Kindle bestsellers with your Visa card and get $10 credit
* 50% off Roku Streaming Player (normally $99).
It certainly seems that Amazon is merely extending the depth and breadth of their storefront by advertising on Kindle. The savings are modest. A Kindle with Ads will cost $114 US, over the regular price of $139 US.
This is an interesting move and is significant in the ongoing war between the e-readers. Is E PUB or MOBI going to win in the end. They aren't compatible. This reminds me of the technology wars between VHS and VCR. I seem to remember that Sony won that one. I just know that I'm not going to jump into either camp at this point until I can see who's winning the battle for marketshare.
All I can confidently report is that the CEO of Penguin said, at the recent London Book Fair, that ebooks are replacing trade paperbacks in the marketplace. Well, ebooks are already outselling print books, so he may have a point.

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