Heh, I called this a while ago:
NEW YORK, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is in talks with book publishers about launching a media library service similar to Netflix Inc for tablets and other digital books, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. Seattle-based Amazon, which makes the popular Kindle electronic reader, is also expected to release a tablet to rival Apple Inc's iPad in coming weeks, the Journal reported. Under the proposal for a digital media library, customers would pay an annual fee to access a library of content, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. It is unclear how much traction the talks have received, the Journal reported, citing the people familiar with the matter. Several unnamed publishing executives said they are not enthusiastic about the idea because it could lower the value of books and could strain their relationships with other retailers that sell their books, the newspaper reported.
The reason why I am tooting my horn a little on this is that I was excoriated when I suggested that this would be a possible business model back HERE
I was told that this would NEVER work, because people would never "rent" books, which were special in a way that movies are not, etc. I even called which company would do it first:
I think that the publishers and booksellers will most likely offer a cloud subscription model, alongside the present model and I think it might even become the dominant model. People will continue to "purchase" downloadable copies, of course, but only for special books that they want to reread. These may or may not be DRMED, but they will be a small minority of the ebooks read.
I predict that Google or Amazon will do it first, but Apple might surprise everyone.
OK, enough shameless self-congratulation
. It still may not happen, because some publishers are not on board. These publishers don't trust Amazon to "protect" the value of their books (where have we heard that?).
I am also now inclined to think that the Kindle Cloud Reader was in the works even before Apple's change in policy re in-app purchasing. What do you all think?