Yesterday Amazon.com announced the launch of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
With an Amazon Prime membership, Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free – including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers – as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates. No other e-reader or ebookstore offers such a service. With an annual Prime membership, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is included at no additional cost. Millions of Prime members enjoy free two-day shipping, unlimited streaming of nearly 13,000 movies and TV shows, and now thousands of books to borrow for free with a Kindle.
For now, it’s a very limited selection and resticted to one title per month. But this is just a start and useful for marketing purposes. Also, to use the service you must be an Amazon Prime member and own a Kindle device; there is no borrowing of books to read on your computer or mobile app.
Does Amazon intend to compete directly with libraries? It’s interesting to note the use of the term “lending library” in the name and that Amazon.com emphasizes that borrowed ebooks have no “due date”. But is it a really lending library, or rather a subscription service since it requires a paid Prime membership? Amazon isn’t going to give away their product unless they see that doing so will stimulate more sales.
Read more about the service at www.amazon.com/kindleownerslendinglibrary.