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Topic: Possible Amazon Prime Problem in the Future?

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Subject: Possible Amazon Prime Problem in the Future?
Date Posted: 11/5/2011 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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This is an interesting article, about how Amazon is handling the new Prime Members Lending Library. It may not turn out to be good for Amazon in the long run.


I don’t expect the Prime Ebooks to stick around because it looks like Amazon couldn’t figure out how to get around the one major stumbling block that gets in the way of  any netflix-style ebook subscription service.  Namely, publishers cannot sign over subscription rights because for the most part their contracts with authors don’t cover it.


You might be wondering how Amazon got those 5 thousand titles if publishers can’t sign this type of contract. Well, it looks like Amazon neglected to actually tell at least some of the participating publishers that they would be participating (here, subsc req). Instead Amazon simply decided to treat each loaned ebook as a sale and pay the appropriate cut to the publisher (or self-publisher, as the case may be).  Since they’re getting paid for each copy, I’m not sure that very many will mind (once they get over being pissed about not being asked).

Date Posted: 11/6/2011 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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Hmm.  Interesting. 

Date Posted: 11/18/2011 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
Posts: 7,751
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Prime does make sence to me ...at least not for   hummmm not sure How to explain it.    1st amazon Gives you 5 gig Free then when that runs out You Have to pay $80 a Yr to store stuff You Buy?  WHY?   I buy I want to keep Not pay storage bill....   UGH    Members here are here to mainly Save Money So now you want to Buy Non Phy DVDs & the Pay to store it????    Dont make a lick of sence to me Anyone care to explain?  

Date Posted: 11/18/2011 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
Posts: 826
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Barbara, Prime has nothing to do with cloud storage.  Cloud storage is sold separately.  You get 5 GB for free regardless of whether you subscribe to Prime.

Amazon stores most things you buy from them for free; any music and books you purchase are not counted against your cloud storage total.  I don't buy movies/TV shows, so I can't comment on those specifically but I'd assume they're the same.  You'd only need to purchase additional storage if you wanted to store items purchased from other companies (i-tunes for instance) on Amazon's servers.  Really, I think this cloud storage concept is geared towards people using the Kindle Fire with its smaller hard drive and easy access to Amazon services built in.  Otherwise you can get cheaper storage elsewhere, including just storing it on your own hard drives.

Prime gives a couple of things.  First, you get free shipping on physical items you purchase in most cases.  Second, there's a mini-Netflix of free videos.  Third, one book "rental" per month of certain books.  Depending on whether you like the movies/shows available and how much shopping you do online, it can save you quite a bit.    It won't save you much at all though, if all you want is the books.

As Amazon adds more and more to the Prime, I find it hard to see how they're making money from it, especially if they're paying publishers at the rates they would for an ordinary purchase.  For certain, with the current setup, it won't develop into the "Netflix for books" that some people wanted.  Though I don’t see how authors would be able to make a viable living off of Netflix-like prices, so that’s probably a good thing.

I would assume that major publishers will protest Prime rentals just because they don't want consumers to get into the "Netflix" state of mind.  Remember, they protested Amazon's $9.99 bestsellers because they felt it "devalued" a book.  And at the time, they were still under the wholesale model so they got paid the same amount no matter how much consumers paid.