Kindle Unlimited aka Netflix for Books

About a month ago I signed up for Netflix. I knew I would like it, but I had no idea how much I would LOVE it. Instant streaming for whatever TV show or movie I want? And on my iPhone, iPad, computer, and TV? Amazing. It has also made my 45-minute commute much more do-able.

But then a friend of mine lent me a book to read on my commute, and I remembered how much I loved to read and not just watch re-runs of shows I used to watch as a kid. The commute was just as bearable, and I was enjoying myself more.

So I said to a couple of friends, “Why don’t they just come up with Netflix for books?” The response I got was, “You could join a library.” But really…a library!? It’s 2014!

And then my prayers were answered when I saw this article, “Amazon officially debuts its “Netflix for books” service.” I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Why This is a Genius Idea

Years ago, Amazon started to go up against Barnes & Noble and Borders when they started selling books online. Pair that with Amazon Prime (free shipping in 2 days), and the bookstores didn’t have a chance. We all know where they are now. Then they came out with Kindles making it easy to buy ebooks and read on the go without having piles and piles of books on your shelves.

Recently we have seen Amazon start to experiment a bit with online streaming. I haven’t seen too much of it though. Netflix and Hulu are still more brand names when it comes to streaming than Amazon is. But they are slowly starting to make themselves known in this area.

Put these two ideas together, and you have a version of what they are calling Kindle Unlimited. For just $9.99 a month, you can read as many books as you want. (Can you hear the excited cries of commuters?)

The Problems This Solves

Amazon recognized that consumers have a few problems when it comes to reading books regularly.

1) Libraries aren’t as accessible as they used to be. Libraries are downsizing, and bookstores are disappearing.

2) Anyone who now wants to read a book has to pay $10-15 for each book, which just isn’t feasible for those of us who want to read a lot.

3) Commuters don’t want to carry a book in their bag in addition to their laptop, tablet, phone, wallet, etc.

Through Kindle Unlimited, Amazon takes all of these problems into account and solves them. Thousands and thousands of books at your fingertips for just $9.99 a month.

How Amazon Tells Their Story

Amazon opens with powerful storytelling in their video highlighting the benefits of Kindle Unlimited. They market to the emotion you feel when you read a book and connect to a character or a story. (A bit meta how they use storytelling to connect you to the story, but it works.) Notice how they start off with the story that captures your attention and then later go into the details of Kindle Unlimited. Now that’s great product marketing.

What do you think of Kindle Unlimited?


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