February 6, 2016

WSJ: Amazon To Roll Out Netflix-like Ebook Lending Service?

According to a Wall Street Journal report yesterday sourcing “people familiar with the matter,” Amazon, maker of the Kindle ereader, is currently in talks with publishers about a potential Netflix-like model for ebooks. Via the model subscribers could access a “digital-book library” of ebooks as part of a $79 annual Amazon Prime membership.

According to unnamed sources for the article, Amazon is planning to create an accessible catalog of “older titles” for the program, with a limit on the number of ebooks that members would be able to read each month using the service. Publishers are being offered a “substantial fee” to take part, according to sources, but whether any have signed on so far remains “unclear.”

On LJ’s Facebook page, readers have reacted to the news.

“This is disturbing. So many publishers have been so narrow minded the last few years,” wrote Jessica Moyer.

“I am a big user of our downloadable audio and ebooks through our library,” wrote Heather Gibson Turiello. “It’s a free resource today. Why would I pay to access library books?”

As LJ reported in April, Amazon is planning to unveil ebook library lending functionality for the Kindle later this year to integrate with pre-existing OverDrive ebook library catalogs. The Kindle is currently the only major dedicated ereader without library lending capability.

David Rapp About David Rapp

David Rapp (drapp@mediasourceinc.com) was formerly Associate Editor, LJ.

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  1. Ashley McConnell says:

    At least libraries buy copies of books that they lend (and in the UK, writers get income from it). I wonder whether authors will see any income at all from books that Amazon lends?

    Does the phrase “kill the geese that lay the golden eggs” ring any bells?

  2. Wasn’t there a lot of buzz recently about Amazon working with Overdrive to allow e-book lending on Kindles? Was that just rumors? Has that deal died?


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