Amazon is introducing a new, cheaper version of its hot-selling Kindle e-book reader... for anyone willing to deal with a few ads. The $114 "Kindle with Special Offers" will display sponsored ads on the screensaver and at the bottom of the home screen, but not inside e-books. Is a $25 discount from Kindle's $139 model worth the intrusion?
This is very, very smart: This innovation is "really simply genius" on Amazon's part, says Eric Savitz in Forbes. First of all, "it's a Kindle for the budget-limited," meaning a boost in market share. And because the ads will have a Groupon-like focus on discounts, Amazon has managed to turn "advertising into a bonus" for readers. Plus, by getting readers to vote on ads, Amazon gets "unpaid focus group members." Genius.
"Amazon unveils ad-supported Kindle eBook reader for $114"
Please, I'm not this cheap: "Let me say this to Amazon," and any "gadget maker" who wants to follow in its footsteps, says Brian Lam at Gizmodo: "I am not this cheap and this is still my gadget." I'm already paying for the books, so if you're going to make more money off me, "17 percent is not enough of a discount." When you get to 50 percent, we can talk.
"This sponsored gadget is the beginning of the... Look, free stuff!"
It's a good idea, but what's with the name? I'm surprised it took Amazon this long to roll out a product like this, says Dave Rosenthal in The Baltimore Sun. And because "everyone's used to seeing ads plastered all over websites" already, I can't imagine this will pose much of a barrier to sales. The name, on the other hand, is "lame." Seriously, Amazon marketing department. "We're all adults here." We understand you're trying to "find new revenue streams."
"New ad-supported Kindle: Lame name, but good idea"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- The Obama administration's nonstop incoherence on ISIS
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
Subscribe to the Week