Amazon’s all-you-can-read e-book subscription service has launched in the US at a price of US$9.99 per month, with other markets expected to follow.
Kindle Unlimited takes the Netflix and Spotify format of streaming unlimited media for a monthly subscription fee and applies it to e-books. It even comes with a 30-day free trial to entice users to dip their toe in.
Details of the new service from Amazon leaked last week and Kindle Unlimited was officially announced on Friday.
The US$9.99 per month subscription plan offers unlimited access to more than 600,000 titles in the Kindle format for access on Kindle tablets and readers and other devices with the Kindle app, whether on Android, iOS or Windows.
Amazon users will see the Kindle Unlimited logo on available titles when browsing the e-commerce giant’s catalogue, and will have the option to click and read for free.
The selection of e-books available include the complete Harry Potter series, as well as The Lord of the Rings and Hunger Games trilogies.
However, reports claim Amazon has not been able to secure the rights to include a large selection of new releases and best-sellers in the subscription package. Large publishers will be cautious of signing up to Kindle Unlimited, considering that US$10 is about the cost of a single e-book, and that this model could radically cut the price of e-books and the royalties paid.
More than likely, the numbers will be made up by self-published books and titles from small and independent publishers, as well as thousands of audio books through Amazon subsidiary Audible.
Kindle Unlimited subscribers will also get a complimentary three-month Audible membership with access to its full catalogue of more than 150,000 titles. Whispersync will even allow users to switch instantly between reading and listening where the audio format is available.