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Old 07-04-2009, 11:03 PM   #1
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Amazon applying for in-book advertisement patent for Kindle

Just saw this interesting little post....

Amazon applying for in-book advertisement patent for Kindle

by Devin Coldewey on July 4, 2009


http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/07/04...nt-for-kindle/

Quote:
Before everyone gets in a huff, let’s consider Amazon’s intentions with these patent applications. Surely they would never allow advertisements to be placed in books which you have purchased legitimately at full price, so let’s put that out of our heads. But what if you could take a few bucks off the cover price at the cost of a few contextual ads relating (if possible) to the book’s content? Personally, I wouldn’t mind — partially because I don’t use a Kindle or intend to any time soon, but more because it’s a no-lose situation. Amazon wouldn’t risk alienating its loyal Kindle base with dirty tricks like this, so it’s safe to assume it’ll be at least somewhat opt-in.

An abundance of free or reduced-price content would widen the appeal of the reader — I imagine many people are put off e-books by the idea that they are not getting their money’s worth. As offensive as the idea of inserting ads into a book is to me (and surely to the average reader), it’s almost certainly part of a value proposition which increases the utility of these expensive little buggers.

The wording of the patent requests also includes the language “in response to a consumer request for content,” which could probably be massaged into referring to downloaded books that have been paid for, but more easily fits streamed or dynamically generated stuff like news or Google Books content. There’s also talk of including the ad in printed versions of said content, which bothers me a bit more than the other part. At any rate, I’m convinced that advertisements are unlikely to appear in the kinds of books and publications you’re paying full price for right now, so if this is ever implemented, you’ll probably (hopefully) be able to read your Vanity Fair unmolested.
Added 7-5-09 11:55 pm

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/07/...Ads-Into-Books

Patent application links are listed below..

Quote:
theodp writes "Three Amazon inventors set out to correct what they felt was a real problem: that 'out-of-print or rare books ... typically do not include advertisements ... the content is fixed and, therefore, has not been adapted to modern marketing.' Their solution is spelled out in newly-disclosed Amazon patent applications for On-Demand Generating E-Book Content with Advertising (http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...DN/20090171751)and Incorporating Advertising in On-Demand Generated Content (http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...DN/20090171750
).
From the patent apps, here's what the future of reading may look like: 'For instance, if a restaurant is described on page 12, [then the advertising page], either on page 11 or page 13, may include advertisements about restaurants, wine, food, etc., which are related to restaurants and dining.' So, what would a delightfully-tacky-yet-unrefined Hooters ad do for your Hemingway experience?"
Edit July 6th 11:55

Trying to understand the patents listed in my links made my eyes cross

Here is another blurb.. I love the picture...
http://techgeist.net/2009/07/amazon-...-kindle-books/

Amazon Wants To Put Ads Into Kindle Books?
By Michael Klurfeld on July 4, 2009

Click image for larger version

Name:	amazon ads.JPG
Views:	148
Size:	39.4 KB
ID:	31750

Quote:
You know what my favorite part of Moby Dick was? The part where I realized I wanted a Klondike bar. That experience may be expedited in the future, courtesy of an Amazon patent for a technology which would dynamically insert ads into e-books. And get this: the ads would be context sensitive. “For instance, if a restaurant is described on page 12, [then the advertising page], either on page 11 or page 13, may include advertisements about restaurants, wine, food, etc., which are related to restaurants and dining.”

What’s so annoying about this is that Amazon presumably wants to put ads into books to be read on the Kindle, as that is the e-book market they’re desperately trying to push right now. We can probably all agree that ads in stuff we’ve paid for is quite annoying, and doubly so when we’ve gotten use to experiencing whatever it is without ads.

But Amazon isn’t stupid. It could be that Amazon is trying to use advertisements to profit off of books they would allow users to read on the Kindle for free. If they let you download a full book in Kindle format under public domain, for example, they could monetize serving up that content by inserting an ad. Though it would definitely make the reading experience somewhat annoying, ads would be a negligible price to pay for millions of free reads at one’s fingertips.

Last edited by dreams; 07-06-2009 at 02:57 PM. Reason: added additional edits
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:19 PM   #2
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Surely they would never allow advertisements to be placed in books which you have purchased legitimately at full price, so let’s put that out of our heads.
I don't know why the author would attribute such noble motives to any ebook seller.

I pay for cable - and yet most of the stations have commercials. And the ones that don't still manage to hawk coming programs and attractions.

I pay for newspapers and magazines and they're full of advertisements.

I pay for public transportation and the buses are covered with advertisements - inside and out.

If Amazon - or any ebook retailer - thinks they can get away with shoving ads into our books...I think they'll darn well try!
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:30 PM   #3
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Amazon wouldn’t risk alienating its loyal Kindle base with dirty tricks like this, so it’s safe to assume it’ll be at least somewhat opt-in.
Never, EVER underestimate what companies are willing to convince themselves their customers will put up with. Especially in regards to advertisements. Blinky web banners are still used, despite how many people hate them, and how ineffective they are. Everyone said paid cable TV couldn't possibly have ads; why would people pay for the shows *and* get stuck with advertising? The cigarette ads in paperbacks were a laughable idea when first suggested--of course no publisher would do that.

If they get the tech & marketing aspects down, they'll put ads in every book they believe will sell with them. They won't tell customers that ads are being inserted; they'll just add them to new books, with whatever formatting they convince themselves customers won't mind.

Possibly, they'll sell the same book in two formats: Ad-free, $9.95; with ads, $7.95. And then some books will appear only in the with-ads format. (Bootleg versions without ads will be uploaded by anonymous readers, and removed from Kindles as they're discovered. Amazon will have created a whole new way to annoy its customers.)

The hard part will be convincing advertisers that paying for bookspace will be worth something more than a web hit. That means the ads have to be invasive and annoying... or include active web links. (Can you purchase content from other sites on Whispernet? Advertisers will very likely insist on that option to make this worth their while.)
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:51 PM   #4
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I wouldn't mind if they do ads as long as it's not mandatory. I like the idea of people being able to get cheaper books if they're ok with that. I wouldn't be interested personally unless the ads were like their recommendation system including links for other books I might like. And then, I would only put up with it if they were subtle. Something like some links at the end of the book would be fine. "If you liked this you might like..." If they are mandatory and intrusive, I'll be shopping elsewhere.
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:59 PM   #5
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I find it difficult to believe this kind of thing could be patented. It's hardly cutting edge. My own company used to put ads in e-books we published back in 2005 (we stopped the practice because we decided the ads were not effective).
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:31 AM   #6
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Ads are OK -- assuming there is a price break.

However, I can just see this going to product placement:

"Honor Harrington easily slips by the tremendous sword cut because she is wearing Levi's with nano-fabric. These nano-vi's first introduced in the 21st century, through the Sears department store, let you stretch without binding and have ultimate breathability to eliminate sweating. This give Honor a tremendous advantage in freedom of movement and keeps her sweat-free so that there are no nasty moisture drops to slide on."

Have you noticed how blatant product placement is getting on TV? I think DVR's are forcing advertisers to look for new ways to reach customers.
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doreenjoy View Post
I find it difficult to believe this kind of thing could be patented.
Nothing is too ridiculous to be patented.

Quote:
It's hardly cutting edge. My own company used to put ads in e-books we published back in 2005 (we stopped the practice because we decided the ads were not effective).
They may be patenting a way to insert *dynamic* ads, that change every time the ebook is opened, or ads that always appear when you open the ebook. Or at least ads that depend on the exact time you buy the ebook. But I suspect that this is an attempt to use Whispernet to inflict variable content into ebooks--today's top ad, that appears when you open the book, before you go to your saved page. (And possibly the book doesn't work if you're outside of Whispernet range or have it turned off.)
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
But I suspect that this is an attempt to use Whispernet to inflict variable content into ebooks--today's top ad, that appears when you open the book, before you go to your saved page. (And possibly the book doesn't work if you're outside of Whispernet range or have it turned off.)
Well, that probably would have me getting rid of my Kindle in short order.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:04 AM   #9
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When I read about Amazon applying for the patent, I thought about all the points that have been posted. What I am afraid will happen is that if Amazon leads the way, others will follow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doreenjoy View Post
I find it difficult to believe this kind of thing could be patented. It's hardly cutting edge.
There is a wider customer base for $$ now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emellaich View Post
Ads are OK -- assuming there is a price break.
I read for enjoyment and the blissful experience of NOT having to be interrupted by the "real" world. Ads inter-spaced in my reading would be invasive and extremely annoying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emellaich View Post
However, I can just see this going to product placement:.
Which would make the reading experience like watching one long commercial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Everyone said paid cable TV couldn't possibly have ads; why would people pay for the shows *and* get stuck with advertising?
Quote:
Originally Posted by FizzyWater View Post
I pay for cable - and yet most of the stations have commercials.
I so remember the jokes made about how the companies would actually collect money for something that was FREE. Then later thinking that we would get commercial free TV if we PAID for cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FizzyWater View Post
If Amazon - or any ebook retailer - thinks they can get away with shoving ads into our books...I think they'll darn well try!
If it involves making $$.... the one in control makes the rules and sets the cost..

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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Never, EVER underestimate what companies are willing to convince themselves their customers will put up with. Especially in regards to advertisements..
Been there, Done that.... Saw that, Lived that... and PAID for that..
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:34 AM   #10
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Seems to me that I am less and less disappointed that the Kindle is not available in Canada!
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:07 AM   #11
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Right now quite a few people backup their kindle books on their computer together with the PID needed to deDRM the books. And thank to those Ayn Rand books that were silently deleted from many a Kindle there will be even greater number of people doing that. People are not removing DRM at the moment, because there is no need.

When the first ads infested books appear they would provide *lots* of people with justification to strip the DRM and clean up the books.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kacir View Post
Right now quite a few people backup their kindle books on their computer together with the PID needed to deDRM the books. And thank to those Ayn Rand books that were silently deleted from many a Kindle there will be even greater number of people doing that.
I don't have a Kindle but, I will mention this little hint to a co-worker (for her friend). Thank you.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
Right now quite a few people backup their kindle books on their computer together with the PID needed to deDRM the books. And thank to those Ayn Rand books that were silently deleted from many a Kindle there will be even greater number of people doing that. People are not removing DRM at the moment, because there is no need.

When the first ads infested books appear they would provide *lots* of people with justification to strip the DRM and clean up the books.
I agree. I am one of those who keeps a back-up copy of all my e-books minus the DRM. It makes sense and I don't know why anyone would act differently. How many people do you know with MP3 players don't keep copies of their music on their computer hard drive? How many people keep the DRM on their music files (especially now that MP3s are sold legally now)? It didn't fly with the music industry, why should people ignore the problem with books? If I pay for something, I intend to really own it. I should be allowed to do anything I want with it.
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:06 PM   #14
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You know who doesn't have ads? Filesharers, that's who. With every move these corporations make, the more militant it makes a few more people (including myself), the more people will be wiling to go to the filesharing networks.

They can take their adverts and *!$%$!$£"*"!!!
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:27 PM   #15
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What did you think of this scenario. Amazon lets you opt in for ads in exchange for a discount on any books that you might buy. Instead of an ad appearing in the middle of the book you are reading it appears as a screen saver. The ad would be for books that Amazon thinks you might enjoy based on your previous purchases. This of course could lead to some embarrassment for some people based on the kind of books they read. This is why it would have to be strictly voluntary. I would probably opt in if the discount was significant.
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