The online retailer is reportedly thinking about making a subscription library service available to Amazon Prime members, adding book rentals to the $79 per year service that now offers online video and an unlimited deal on two-day shipping. The rental subscription, described in the report as a Netflix-like service for books, would offer older titles, and the company would limit the amount of books users could read for free every month.
According to Journal sources “familiar with the matter,” Amazon is trying to sell the idea to publishers, who may be wary about the effect that that kind of service would have on the value of books and their partnerships with bookstores.
Amazon may be ramping up its digital offerings in preparation for its expected tablet launch, which analysts say could happen by year’s end.
Amazon already allows students to rent textbooks and lets users share some books for up to 14 days on their Kindles.