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Old 05-15-2011, 10:32 AM   #1
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Amazon's Top-Selling Kindle Has Ads

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385398,00.asp

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Amazon's best-selling Kindle e-reader is its newest and cheapest—and the one that's got ads, according to the company's bestseller chart.

The $114, Wi-Fi-enabled Kindle with "Special Offers and Sponsored Screensavers" is actually the bestselling device of any type sold on Amazon. The top five is rounded out by the $139 version of the Wi-Fi-only Kindle without ads, the $189 Kindle with Wi-Fi plus 3G, the 32GB Apple iPod Touch, and lastly, the 8GB iPod Touch.

The ad-supported Kindle has been on sale for about a month. Amazon doesn't break down actual shipping numbers, but it's clear that many Kindle buyers are willing to live with advertising that appears on the home screen and in the screen saver rather than part with an extra $25 to avoid the ads.

Price drops for the Kindle and the new ad platform have been linked by some industry watchers to rumors that Amazon has a full-fledged media tablet in the works.

The thinking goes that Amazon will want to price its e-readers comfortably lower than any tablet it makes to compete with Apple's iPad and other such devices. It could also introduce a tablet, possibly running Google's Android mobile operating system, that uses an ad-based platform to further compete on price with other tablets on the market.

Amazon has also placed an increased emphasis on Android recently. Earlier this year, it opened its own Android Appstore. The company also unveiled a cloud-based music servicethat lets users store their music for free online and play it via Macs, PCs, and Android-based tablets and phones (but not iOS devices).

Whatever Amazon might release, however, it won't supplant the Kindle. The popular e-reader has clearly been an important product for Amazon, and one analyst predicted that revenue generated from the device will top $5 billion in 2011.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:34 AM   #2
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I have to admit, I have difficulty believing that Amazon sold more KSO in a month then K3's in close to a year even when you divide them into K3 WiFi and K3 3G.

Still, it sounds like the KSO is selling like hot cakes.

I'll start the countdown until the first person complains about the lack of actual sales numbers.

3

2

1
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:34 AM   #3
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whoops I meant to put this in the Kindle forum
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:46 AM   #4
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Interesting. My guess is first-time ereader buyers don't feel the same sense of compromise that veteran owners (some) would. First time buyers haven't developed an attachment to the format; there's no established experience for the ads to affect. For them, $25 less is $25 less, especially when many of them are unsure if they will even like using an ereader.

For those opposed to the idea, it could be of concern. New waves of consumers will just accept the feature, never having used it without, and those who prefer ad-free could become a minority. I doubt it, though.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:36 PM   #5
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I'm a veteran owner and ebook reader, and I purchased one of the special offers Kindles. The presence of the ads simply doesn't affect reading a book at all, and some of the offers in fact have saved me a few bucks.

I very much dislike obtrusive advertising. Ads within an ebook itself would be a major no-no. I believe Amazon understands this. If I'm wrong, and this turns out to be the camel's nose under the tent for such, then my opinion will change. I also wouldn't like seeing the ad/offer-free models disappear. But at this point, the device doesn't make me feel any sort of compromise.

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Originally Posted by OtterBooks View Post
Interesting. My guess is first-time ereader buyers don't feel the same sense of compromise that veteran owners (some) would. First time buyers haven't developed an attachment to the format; there's no established experience for the ads to affect. For them, $25 less is $25 less, especially when many of them are unsure if they will even like using an ereader.

For those opposed to the idea, it could be of concern. New waves of consumers will just accept the feature, never having used it without, and those who prefer ad-free could become a minority. I doubt it, though.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:50 AM   #6
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I'm surprised that it's the best-selling model, given that it's only sold in the US.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:40 AM   #7
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Yup. They took their numbers from the US based page. I am guessing that it has out sold the other models since it went on sale and not in total.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfCrash View Post
I have to admit, I have difficulty believing that Amazon sold more KSO in a month then K3's in close to a year even when you divide them into K3 WiFi and K3 3G.
Being #1 on Amazon does NOT mean you have more total sales. No one has ever completely figured out the algorithm Amazon uses for its rankings, but it clearly provides weighting based on recent sales over historical ones. And I have no doubt at all that the KSO is selling more right now than the WiFi only version right now. Personally, I prefer mine without ads, and besides, I needed the 3G model. But there will always be people for whom the price is the only thing that matters.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:05 AM   #9
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I'm a veteran owner and ebook reader, and I purchased one of the special offers Kindles. The presence of the ads simply doesn't affect reading a book at all, and some of the offers in fact have saved me a few bucks.

I very much dislike obtrusive advertising. Ads within an ebook itself would be a major no-no. I believe Amazon understands this. If I'm wrong, and this turns out to be the camel's nose under the tent for such, then my opinion will change. I also wouldn't like seeing the ad/offer-free models disappear. But at this point, the device doesn't make me feel any sort of compromise.
Could the ads actually be a plus? I notice from Amazon's Kindle page that some of the ads seem quite attractive, i.e. $1 mp3 albums.
How often to the ads change? Are they directed more to one sex or one age group than another? Are they specific to Kindle owners or are the "deals" available to all via Amazon?
Thanks.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:21 AM   #10
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The deals are only available to people with the KSO. I own a K3 3G and cannot get the deals.

From what has been reported, the KSO came loaded with at least 6 offers on it, a poster took a look at the firmware and found 6 offers in there. They seem to be set to release 1 a week. This would mean that people who did not use their WIFI on a regular basis would get the new offers. Or at least they would get the initial 6 offers.

I am guessing that at some point in time new offers would be sent as firmware upgrade or through the WIFI. That is speculation on my part.

The offers seem to be pretty generic and not targeted to gender, reading patterns or the like. That could change. We know that Amazon is good at targeting recommendations on past purchasing history, they might do the same with ads and offers at some point in time.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:49 AM   #11
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Boy, there's sure a lack of actual sales numbers!
/Obligatory comment

Doesn't come as much of a surprise considering the price and special offers. Some of the offers, when combined, can somewhat offset the purchase price.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:37 AM   #12
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I'm surprised that it's the best-selling model, given that it's only sold in the US.
And in less than 3 weeks since launch.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:50 AM   #13
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From what has been reported, the KSO came loaded with at least 6 offers on it, a poster took a look at the firmware and found 6 offers in there. They seem to be set to release 1 a week. This would mean that people who did not use their WIFI on a regular basis would get the new offers. Or at least they would get the initial 6 offers.
Amazon has been releasing these offers every 4 days. I expect the next one to drop on the 17th and it'll probably be the Audible offer (6 audiobooks for $6).
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:54 PM   #14
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I think that if they are able to make it so that it doesn't affect the reading experience, I would save my 25$ and spend it on buying some books to read on my new e-reader!
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:24 PM   #15
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[...] I am guessing that it has out sold the other models since it went on sale and not in total.
Right, Kindle with Special Offers would be bestselling on a per unit time basis since introduced. The news isn't that more Kindle with Special Offers have sold than other Kindle models in total but that the market has initially signaled tolerance of advertising in exchange for a discount on the hardware purchase.

I'm surprised that $25 was sufficient. I thought they'd have to ratchet it lower before finding the sweet spot, but it seems that $25 worked already. The question is how long the success can continue without further price cuts. That probably will depend on how good the offers are, how unintrusive their implementation continues to be, and how deep the latent market at the $114 price point is.
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