Amazon Officially Announces Kindle Unlimited, Offering Endless Reading And Listening For $9.99 A Month

Amazon officially announced that Kindle Unlimited, an all-you-can eat reading and listening service, that we first mentioned two days ago. Dubbed a “Netflix for books” by our own Darrell Etherington, the service offers over 600,000 books for free reading on Kindle and Kindle-enabled devices as well as thousands of audiobooks from Audible. Books include the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, the Hunger Games Trilogy, and Flash Boys, as well as other bestsellers. It also includes access to Kindle-only exclusives as well as older titles from the company’s extensive catalog of older works including To The Lighthouse and Cat’s Cradle. Most interesting, however, is Whispersync for Voice which allows you to move from reading to listening without losing your place in the book. The service, at this point, appears unlimited and you can have as many books in your library as you wish. There is a new button in the book buying interface – “Read for Free” – but it is unclear how royalties are shared with authors. Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.54.50 PM The service is very similar to Amazon Prime Video, the all-you-can-watch video service. While there are a number of very visible best-sellers on the list, the majority of the content is niche content that may receive a new audience thanks to Unlimited. It is also surprising that the big five – the major publishers – are offering some of their best and most popular titles on the service. Clearly the revenue sharing proposition is interesting, especially considering you have a captive audience of intense readers who are willing to pay $10 a month for limitless ebooks. This is also bad news for services like Oyster. Once the Amazon juggernaut lands in your back yard, there’s little to stop them from rolling over smaller competitors. All said, this will definitely be an interesting step for indie authors looking for wider reach.