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?

Catching Up On 2013

In the spirit of getting into more regular blogging on my blog, I did want to share what I have been working on during my hiatus! I am a regular blogger for the HubSpot Inbound Marketing blog and Social Media Examiner blog. Here are some of the posts I have been working on this year.

HubSpot Blog Posts

When Press Releases Do (and Don’t) Help Your Marketing

8 Unlikely Companies Successfully Newsjacking Super Bowl XLVII

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Vine for Marketing

19 Sure-Fire Ways to Amplify Your Social Reach

9 Guaranteed Ways to Make Industry Events Worth Your While

How to Tell if That Industry Event Is Really Worth Your Money

How to Modernize an Old-School Event Marketing Strategy

101 Awesome Marketing Quotes, Revisited [SlideShare]

How to Transform Your Social Media Connections Into Real-Life Relationships

7 Trailblazing Brands That Won By Being First

Social Media Examiner Blog Posts

5 Ways Marketers Can Use Instagram

How to Use Hashtags in Your Social Media Marketing

How to Make Your Facebook Contests Stand Out

4 Ways to Maximize the Social Media Presence at Your Next Event

5 Ways Marketers Can Keep Updated on Facebook Changes

How to Improve Your Social Media Marketing Return on Investment

New Role

I am also excited to share with everyone that I have a new role at HubSpot: Marketing Associate, Brand Experiences. I have been working for the past few months on our external events presence including strategizing ways to promote the HubSpot brand at events and managing logistics for HubSpot’s presence at nationwide events including the Executive Playbook to Marketing and Sales Roadshow. Though I am still involved in planning for our annual INBOUND conference, I am excited to work on a multitude of events as we spread the HubSpot brand.

What other interesting content have you seen lately? Has your role changed over the last year?

Minier Coke Can

Going off of the last blog post on branding, Coca Cola Company has done it again.  This December, it is coming out with a 90-calorie mini can, similar to its 100-calorie mini can that they came out with a few years ago (http://www.ajc.com/business/coke-mini-can-to-162682.html).  Instead of the normal 12 ounce can, it will be 7.5 ounces.  However, I question the marketing strategy behind this new product.

First of all, there are many health issues related to this new product.  Even though Coke has a new health initiative by partnering with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation by encouraging a healthy balance between its products and others and exercising, this new product goes against this plan.  Even though it is less calories, what other artificial chemicals are put into this product to make it taste similar to the normal sized Coke products?  Additionally, it has been proven that when there are food products with fewer calories, people eat or drink more of them.  Whereas a person would have stopped at the 155 calorie cans, they will now drink two of the smaller cans, which add up to 190 calories.  So much for drinking/eating fewer calories with these smaller cans.

Also, many people grab Coke out of vending machines or at gas stations.  However, these unique cans will not be sold in these places, eliminating this large target segment.  Yes, they will be sold in grocery stores, but the availability of Coke at multiple places is part of its charm.

I’m sure the product will be successful.  After all, Coke has the most valuable brand out there.  However, there are clear complications against it from the availability to the health concerns.  Yes, there will be people who simply drink the one smaller can and do not drink more, proving the benefits of the product.  But there will also be the people who drink more cans because mentally they think they are drinking less (which is something I would do).  Despite these factors, it is a good strategy to launch the product in New York City and Washington, D.C. before introducing it to rest of the country in December.  They will be able to adjust their marketing strategies and hopefully put the product in place to be more successful.  However, there are definitely hardships to come, and it may turn out that it is worth only having the 100-calorie mini can.  We’ll see how it does next year!