Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

Summary: The Kindle lending program may just be one part of the kitchen sink Amazon plans to toss into its Prime subscription service.

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Amazon keeps throwing the perks at its Amazon Prime subscription service. This go-round Amazon is adding a Kindle Owners' Lending Library to the mix just ahead of the Kindle Fire launch.

For the e-commerce giant, Prime subscriptions appear to be just about everything. Aside from free two-day shipping, Amazon has added unlimited streaming of shows and movies and now Kindle books. Why? Repeat after me: Lifetime value of the customer. Also see: Amazon's Kindle Fire economics: A focus on lifetime value of customer

Amazon hit that point on its most recent earnings call as analysts were freaking out over what a $199 Kindle Fire will do to margins. The company explained that it'll take a margin hit now for more revenue later. Kindle Fire has an Amazon Prime subscription bundled in for a month. If the bulk of those Fire buyers also become Prime subscribers, Amazon garners a nice recurring revenue stream---a subscription is $79 a year---and the promise of more loyal customers.

In other words, the Kindle lending program may just be one part of the kitchen sink Amazon plans to toss into Prime.

The Kindle lending library includes more than 100 current and former New York Times bestsellers. It's a handy library. Amazon bought access from publishers for a fixed fee and will also buy a title at wholesale terms. The aim of Amazon's purchase move is "to demonstrate to publishers the incremental growth and revenue opportunity that this new service presents." In other words, Amazon is offering a trial so folks buy more e-books.

Amazon has its template, but the goal is clear: Get as many Amazon Prime subscribers as possible even if there's a margin hit at first.

Topics: Banking, Amazon, Enterprise Software

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38 comments
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  • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

    Curious if Amazon Prime subscribers can access books on non Kindle devices...??
    ddrakewi
    • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

      @ddrakewi I think it's pretty clear from their web site that it's for Kindle owners only. "Books can only be borrowed and read on Kindle devices (works with all Kindle generations)." from their info page.
      photonicsguy
    • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

      @ddrakewi NOPE. I "borrowed" a book on my K3, and tried to see if I could access it on my iPad Kindle App, or on the Kindle Cloud Reader, nope. Just for Kindle hardware. But still pretty cool.
      rockymtnhigh
      • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

        @rockymtnhigh If you read a book, can you get another? I read that it was "one per month" or is that just one at a time per month? I am a pretty fast reader and don't want to be limited by one a month.
        daizydoo9294
      • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

        @rockymtnhigh et al

        Yes, interesting move to "tie" user to their devices...been pondering an Android tablet with kindle app....but may have to stick with my older Kindle
        ddrakewi
      • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

        @daizydoo9294 Why should Amazon let you read everything for free? You're supposed to buy their books. The one borrow per month is along the lines of "the first taste is free" so you'll come back and buy after using up your borrowing allotment.
        ellett
    • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

      @ddrakewi I don't know if you can download more than one. Haven't had a chance to test that yet. But even if you can't its still a great idea. free books.

      Alas, I use my iPad most of the time as my "kindle"
      rockymtnhigh
  • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

    If you understand Lifetime Value of a customer (most small - medium business do not), can stand the heat on your margins then this is a great idea.
    reggupton
    • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

      @reggupton Most small businesses don't understand the concept of margins, period. They think that they are entitled to make X% on anything they sell, anything less than that they are "losing money", even if it is dead stock that needs to be liquidated, or even if they price themselves out of the market.
      jabster17
    • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

      Excuse me, but this a braindead generalization.
      What, do you work for Amazon or something?
      chris24@...
  • Makes sense

    I got my kindle two years age and I now have 300 books in my library. Amazos made money there.
    vall7744@...
  • Merging Kindle Libraries

    Each with our own Kindles, my wife & I have separate Amazon accounts with separate Kindle libraries. We are waiting for Amazon to allow unlimited mutual access to paired accounts so that we can freely share the books that we have purchased. Current lending limits access sharing to 2 weeks per item.
    pjsilvia49@...
    • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

      @pjsilvia49@...
      We got around it by naming my kindle book as #2 on my wife's account, and all books appear in the archives once we buy it on my wife's account. We download the books from the archives on either kindle book.
      matthewmolitch
    • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

      @pjsilvia49@... I intentionally put my wife on my Amazon account to avoid just that problem. We don't read a lot of the same stuff, but there is no reason for her not to have access or vice-versa to the content paid for from the SAME checking account!!
      rockymtnhigh
    • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

      @pjsilvia49@... itunes lets you share the stuff on...5 devices...
      legleye@...
    • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

      @pjsilvia49@...

      And why can't you just switch Kindles every now and then?
      atmusky
    • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

      @pjsilvia49@... You can do that on a Nook
      kah9932
  • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

    And to think this was the company all the naysayers thought wouldn't work and was really worthless ("it doesn't have any inventory and doesn't create any new value," I can still hear them say).

    Hey... more power to Jeff and the rest of the staff. They've worked hard and it's paying off!

    Charlie Seymour Jr
    http://ExpertMarketingAcademy.com
    CharlieSeymourJr
  • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

    my classmate's mom makes $68/hour on the laptop. She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her check was $7564 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read this site http://phlpn.es/pzhb44
    travispaula
    • RE: Amazon's latest Prime gambit: Kindle book lending

      @travispaula Knock off the Spam, creep!
      MikeyrInFL