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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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Amazon’s Ad-Supported Kindle Comes Out On Top

Not too long ago there was a fair amount of debate over whether or not customers could possibly accept a version of the Kindle which incorporated advertising.  As it turns out, the answer is a resounding yes.  Apparently while there may be any number of knee-jerk reactions to connecting advertising and the reading experience, nobody gets all that upset in practice so long as the whole thing is handled subtly and with the intention of keeping it unobtrusive.  This is good news for Amazon at the moment and might be great news for Kindle enthusiasts in the long term.  It all depends on how the trend holds up.

The fact that you can find the Kindle w/ Special Offers at the top of the Best Sellers list works as a proof of concept as far as ad-supported Kindles are concerned. Customers are willing to buy it.  Their biggest complaint so far seems to be the fact that they had to.  You see, many consumers feel that if they are going to be providing Amazon with revenue from advertising on an ongoing basis, it is wrong for them to expect an initial investment on the part of the end-user.  There is a certain amount of justification to this. It is definitely possible to see that being the goal, given projections that the Kindle may soon be a free or nearly free device.  At the moment, it still needs to prove itself as a worthwhile place for advertisers to buy time on.  Let’s assume that this works out and Amazon has no problems finding companies that would love nothing more than to advertise to readers around the world.  This opens the door for not only the free Kindle, but highly affordable Kindle Tablet devices subsidized by advertising.

There is the concern, of course, that this could prove too tempting a success and result in an intrusive ad presence in eBooks themselves.  I would call this unlikely.  In an earlier interview on the topic, Jeff Bezos mentioned that part of the reason they are choosing to keep the advertising completely separate from the reading experience, besides simply the undesirability of such an immersion destroying addition, is that maintaining the separation improves the impact of the ads when they are shown.  Simply put, more ads would mean less impact per ad rather than more overall impact.  If the advertisers are not seeing results, the whole endeavor flops.

So far we’ve seen Amazon do a great job of anticipating the needs of the customer.  They offer the most full-featured, affordable dedicated eReader on the market in the form of the Kindle and now they are selling it at what is almost certainly less than cost. If they sometimes turn to unorthodox methods to provide customers with the best value for their money rather than following the most vocal demands and desires of the moment, so much the better.  I think there will be a time when the Kindle w/ Special Offers is the only one they continue to offer as a dedicated eReader, but I also see it costing next to nothing by that point.  Any thoughts?

Does the Ad-Supported Kindle Go Far Enough?

There have been a wide range of responses to the announcement of Amazon’s new ad-supported Kindle release this past week.  For the most part, people seem to approve.  Amazon made a smart move when they decided to have the ads be unobtrusive and potentially personalized.  This leads me to wonder what the future holds as far as advertising subsidized eReading possibilities.

Let’s face it, it’s impossible to get away from ads on a day to day basis.  They’re all over the net, the roads, buses, walls, shipping containers…I could go on.  How much do we really care anymore, though?  The reason that this was such a great move for Amazon is that people are already so used to seeing ads and simply filtering them out without giving it much thought that this small addition won’t have any major effect.  It isn’t as if they were being placed in such a manner as to interfere with immersion while reading, after all.

I wonder how long it will be before we can get books with the same advantage, though?  Obviously, some people have already caught on to the potential and made a business model out of it (WOWIO).  It is demonstratively possible, therefore, to have an unobtrusive advertising presence in a book.  Not really that much different from your average paperback’s large note that it has recently been made into a movie or television show, when you think about it.  I’m really hoping this becomes a trend for the Kindle.

While I don’t support the inclusion of ads mid-text, I think most people would be willing to glance through one or two as they flip to page one of a new book if that meant that the book was cheaper or even free.  This could definitely work as a way to alter the existing Agency Model pricing scheme that makes eBook purchasing an almost comically overpriced experience from time to time.  Give users the option of the normal book for the usual price, but a copy with ads included for 50% off.  How many people will really turn down that opportunity to save money just because ads are obnoxious?

I’m not advocating the WOWIO model, necessarily.  I see this as having potential as a flag in the downloaded file that turns ads on or off on a case by case basis.  This would allow for the updating of advertisements from time to time and avoid the problem of outdated messages.  What would be the point of a sales announcement if you didn’t get around to seeing it until two months after the fact, right?

Still, the Kindle‘s new pricing due to ad inclusion is a huge step in the right direction.  If, as has often been speculated, Amazon is selling their products at or below cost then something needs to be done to drive the prices further down.  I know we’re all really hoping for those rumored free Kindles toward the end of the year, however unlikely the prospect.