Amazon.com is in talks with book publishers to create a Netflix-like digital library for e-books. Under the proposal, Amazon Prime customers, who currently pay $79 a year for shipping benefits and streaming movies, would receive access to the library.
The Wall Street Journal reported that book publishers will receive a “substantial fee” for the titles. But it is not clear whether publishers have signed on yet. Some executives are concerned the system could diminish the inherent value of books.
According to the Journal, the library would only include older books, but how old was not immediately clear. Nor is it clear whether customers could download the book, obtain only one at a time or require an Internet streaming connection to read the books.
Whether customers would pay for Amazon Prime to get an additional service such as rental books is also unclear. The Atlantic notes most people have signed up for Amazon Prime for the shipping benefits, not the streaming movies.