Amazon Kindle Unlimited (teaser 001)

Amazon has been testing a new subscription service dubbed “Kindle Unlimited,” said to bring unlimited access to 600,000 e-books and thousands of audiobooks on any device for a flat fee of just ten bucks per month. That’s according to company webpages that have been pulled down yesterday.

The service appears to provide unlimited access to both books from Amazon’s publishing imprints and those that were already available through Amazon’s Kindle Owners Lending Library, including such titles as the Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series…

Participating publishers include such names as Open Road Media, Workman, Algonquin, Bloomsbury and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Big name publishers – HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, Macmillan and Hachette – don’t participate just yet though are likely to join the project once Amazon unveils it.

Users on the KBoards Kindle forum (via MacRumors) claim Kindle Unlimited will be accessible on all Kindle-compatible devices, including the iPhone and iPad.

Amazon’s test page and mini-site may still be accessible via Google Cache here and here. I screenshoted some of the books that were listed as available on the Kindle Unlimited service.

Amazon Kindle Unlimited (teaser 002)

“Enjoy unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device for just $9.99 a month,” reads the now pulled teaser graphics pictured top of post.

Kindle Unlimited’s $9.99 a month 600,000+ titles compare favorably to Oyster’s $9.95 a month 500,000 e-books and Scribd’s $8.99 a month 400,000 titles. GigaOM was quick enough to save Amazon’s video demonstration of Kindle Unlimited and re-upload it to YouTube, give it a watch below.

It’s difficult to gauge how Kindle Unlimited might compare to Amazon’s $99.99 per year Prime subscription service which offers Kindle-owning customers to rent 500,000 e-books, as well as stream music, movies and television shows, take advantage of free two-day shipping and enjoy other perks.

This is known as Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and the main difference between it and Kindle Unlimited is that the latter appears to be a standalone service which not only offers unlimited reading, but also audiobooks.

Another GigaOM article details how Kindle Unlimited authors get paid and researches how Amazon’s service compares to competition.

Meanwhile, we’ll make sure to keep you updated as we learn more and inform you when Kindle Unlimited goes live.

Do you think you’ll be giving this service a try when it launches?

  • R4

    So it’s like audible except you get ebooks too and this is cheaper. I just hope it’s available on other countries too, not just USA

    • disqusted

      Considering Audible typically charges 3 times this amount for a SINGLE audiobook, I would say it’s not simply “cheaper”, it’s a hell of a deal, considering just that fact alone. Of course, with eBooks included as well, I think unless there are certain deal breakers (restriction of certain content or hidden limitations to the service) you can’t beat this deal. If you purchase just 4 audiobooks per year, the service would pay for itself.

      • R4

        Well that depends on the books really. Most of the books I listen to cost more than the audible monthly subscription.

      • disqusted

        I forgot that Audible had a subscription model already in place. I see that the average audiobook costs an average of about $30 USD. The monthly subscription costs $15. This is not unlimited though, as it is limited to 3 books per month, if I’m not mistaken. So that would make little sense to buy any single book when one could get 3 for half the price of one. But anyway, the point overall is that $120 a year for unlimited books is economically much better than $30 per book— unless you cannot find more than 4 books in a year you’d want.

  • Anthony Lara

    Will this be the solution to those ridiculously expensive college books?

  • I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s said this, but: It’s like Netflix for books.