Amazon’s ‘Netflix for Books’ is here

Amazon has launched its long rumored ‘Netflix for Books’. The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library allows Kindle owners having an annual Amazon Prime membership to borrow 1 book per month – free and with no due dates. While this is short of the expected ‘eat as much as you can’ plan, it certainly increases the attractiveness of the Prime service, which adds free books to its existing 2 day shipping and free movie streaming benefits.

 

Image via Amazon

This also seems to be a test of sorts for a much larger launch – perhaps an eventual ‘read as much as you can’ book rental service.

For the vast majority of titles, Amazon has reached agreement with publishers to include titles for a fixed fee. In some cases, Amazon is purchasing a title each time it is borrowed by a reader under standard wholesale terms as a no-risk trial to demonstrate to publishers the incremental growth and revenue opportunity that this new service presents.

Read more at Introducing The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

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Windows Azure speediest cloud service?

Microsoft‘s cloud service offering, Windows Azure has beaten Amazon’s EC2 and Google’s App Engine in a year long test of cloud speeds. However, this test only evaluates a specific cloud capability by simulating a 2 page website.

Diagram showing overview of cloud computing in...

Image via Wikipedia

While Compuware’s results may be a good starting point for customers trying to decide between various cloud services, they’re not perfect. For example, Salesforce’s Force.com cloud isn’t tested, even though it may be the most widely used platform-as-a-service cloud.

Read more at Windows Azure beats Amazon EC2, Google App Engine in cloud speed test.

The Kindle(‘s on) Fire

The order book for Amazon’s Kindle Fire is on fire. CNET reports that there were more orders for the Kindle Fire than the other Kindle’s combined. While this many not be a threat for Apple, it spells great news for Amazon’s future sales of ebooks and other digital content (more on this in a later post).

Here’s a look at the Fire’s commercial:

Content Wars: Amazon adds Fox

Amazon has announced that it will now offer movies and shows from FOX. This takes Amazon’s instant streaming offerings to 11,000 versus 20,000 for Netflix versus 5,000 for Blockbuster. The past week has seen several developments on the Content Wars front, with the release of Blockbuster’s Movie Pass and Netflix’s deal with Dreamworks.

Amazon’s announcement comes on the heels of its ‘Kindle Books through public libraries‘  deal. There are rumors of a Netflix for Books offering as well. It seems Amazon is adding content muscle in preparation for its Android Tablet.

FOX titles available to Prime members will include contemporary movies such as, “Speed,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Doctor Dolittle,” “Last of the Mohicans,” and “Office Space,” as well as classics like “The Longest Day,” “All About Eve,” “9 to 5,” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” FOX also brings to Prime members a selection of popular TV series including “24,” “The X-Files,” “NYPD Blue,” “Arrested Development,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Ally McBeal,” and newly available on digital video, “The Wonder Years.”

via Amazon Announces Digital Video License Agreement With Twentieth Century Fox

Storing Annotations on the Cloud: Kindle books at libraries

A Picture of a eBook

Image via Wikipedia

Amazon has announced that Kindle books can now be borrowed from local libraries in the US. There are two key points to this announcement –

  1. Availability – these books will be available at over 11,000 local libraries.
  2. Advantage of ebooks over traditional paper books – customers will be able to take notes & make annotations (which Amazon will store, for free, on its amazing Amazon cloud). Thus if you borrow or buy the book in the future, your notes will still be there.

This may have major implications on consumer buying and consumption habits – for example, no more waiting for a book to get returned (assuming that there will be no limit to the number of Kindle copies of a book that are ‘stocked’ at a given library). Also, the books will feel like personal copies of the book due to the annotations.

Instant access and a personalized book reading experience – guess some folks may decide not to buy a copy of that ol’ book that they revisit once every few years!

Here is the Amazon press release – Kindle Books Now Available at over 11,000 Local Libraries.

Amazon to Publishers: Don’t Worry, the Kindle Isn’t That Popular Anyway

Content will be key to a subscription service. Will publishers bite? Will the ‘generous fees’ suffice?

Amazon to Publishers: Don’t Worry, the Kindle Isn’t That Popular Anyway.

As the company prepares to launch its long-rumored Android-powered tablet, Amazon is busy hammering out content initiatives to ensure the device is well-suited to delivering ample digital content consumers and, in turn, more revenue back to the company’s bottom line.

In addition to negotiating with magazines and newspapers to offer a subscription service it hopes can challenge Apple’s upcoming Newsstand, Amazon is reportedly also thinking about launching an e-book rental service, according to the Wall Street Journal. The service would make a library of backlist e-books available to Amazon Prime subscribers, who already pay $79 per year for free fast shipping and some on-demand video. …