Kindle Unlimited and the ongoing commoditization of books


Gigaom

If you know anyone who writes books, or if you follow any authors on social media, you’re probably used to regular cries of doom and gloom about the death of writing and how Amazon is killing the book as we know it. Some of this may even be true. But if anything, it’s the massive increase in writing of all kinds that is killing (or changing) the book industry, and Amazon is just one part of that phenomenon. Books — like so many other forms of media — are becoming a commodity.

Take Kindle Unlimited, for example, an Amazon feature that provides a kind of Spotify-for-books rental service, where users pay $9.99 per month and can borrow one of more than 700,000 books. The service is similar to subscription rentals offered by Oyster and Scribd, but since this is Amazon, all hell broke loose when the new offering was…

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