Amazon ponders Netflix-like service for ebooks - report

SAN FRANCISCO Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:46pm IST

Media wait outside for the Amazon news conference where Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduced his company's new Fire smartphone in Seattle, Washington June 18, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Redmond/Files

Media wait outside for the Amazon news conference where Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduced his company's new Fire smartphone in Seattle, Washington June 18, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Redmond/Files

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is considering a new e-book subscription service called "Kindle Unlimited," that aims to replicate popular video-streaming models for the digital books market, according to several online reports and a test page that briefly appeared on the Internet retailer's website.

The page, spotted by tech blog Gigaom but since taken down, touted a service that for $9.99 a month, would grant unlimited access to more than 600,000 titles including popular books "Life of Pi," and "Water for Elephants," as well as blockbuster franchises like the "Hunger Games," and "Lord of the Rings."

A brief promotional message described the service as available "on any device." Other details remained unclear, however, and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Unlike video streaming, which is dominated by services such as Netflix Inc and Amazon's own Instant Video, few on-demand, buffet-type options exist for digital readers beyond smaller players such as Sribd. Netflix, for instance, charges several dollars per month for unlimited streaming of movies and TV programs.

Amazon is also investing heavily in digital content and Kindle devices to stream that content. It is currently engaged in difficult negotiations with publishers Hachette Book Group and Simon & Schuster over e-book pricing, according to industry sources.

(Reporting by San Francisco newsroom, editing by G Crosse)

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