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Old 01-07-2020, 10:14 PM   #1
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Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Prime, Or Neither?

Forgive my ignorance, but what is the difference, in terms of books and price, between Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited?

I've done several trials of Amazon Prime and the main advantage I noticed was the speedy delivery and no postage fees when I bought from Amazon, rather than the sellers. I didn't bother with watching any videos - there are plenty on the bbc iplayer and youtube. I'm not sure how much this would cost per month and if it would be worth it, (I have no choice about paying the tv license!)

I imagine that Kindle Unlimited is limited to just kindle books, and not many of them either. What does it cost, and do you consider it to be worth it?

I couldn't find a link on the Amazon site which offered information, just ones which appeared to be 'join up' ones, so I came here for help.

Thanks.
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:36 PM   #2
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Amazon Prime has many features - free shipping, free videos, free music, free books, etc. The best is the free shipping and the free videos. There is a very limited selection of free music. And a ridiculously pitiful selection of free books (free to borrow, not free to own). Do not subscribe to Amazon Prime if what you want is books, you will be sorely disappointed.

Kindle Unlimited is free books only. Well, not "free". You pay a monthly fee and for that fee you get to check out (borrow) up to ten books at a time, as many books as you want. There is a very large selection of books. But don't go thinking you will be finding books from big name authors. K.U. does not carry books by authors you would have heard of, other than a token one or two books. Maybe from Harry Potter or something. So don't let their ads - that always highlight the one or two big name books they carry - influence you. Your selection will be from mostly unknown authors. That being said, there are still a lot of good books to be had from K.U. And a lot of bad ones too. But you really do have a ton to choose from, so it may work out good for you. First, you have to be a fast reader who reads constantly. Otherwise, it will be cheaper to buy the books outright rather than to "rent" them from K.U. Most K.U. books sell for $2.99 or less, many are $0.99. So you can see that for the normal $9.99 per month you pay for K.U., you could buy three of those books. Do you read more than three books per month? If not, you may want to reconsider if K.U. will be valuable for you.

K.U. has many free or reduced price trials throughout the year. I am on my fourth trial currently. I have had two free three month trials, and two trials for $0.99 each - one of those $0.99 trials was for three months, the other was for four months (they sent me an email near the end of the trial saying they were giving me an extra month free). So I have had a total of 13 months total of K.U. for $1.98 just by waiting around for the trials to pop up. And one always pops up every few months. You will find that the free trials are not always available to you if you have previously used a free trial. Some are, some aren't - read the small print in the offer. But so far, the $0.99 trials are available to anyone - no matter how many previous trials you have used.

I do not read fast enough for a normal price K.U. subscription to benefit me. I would lose money compared to just buying the books outright. However, I do grab the free and $0.99 trials every time they come up.

Last edited by haertig; 01-07-2020 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:32 PM   #3
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Prime remains mostly about ‘free’ shipping. If you don’t have it, and buy lots of physical goods from Amazon, then you can save money on that, though you may in the end pay more than you would if you bought the same stuff elsewhere and less conveniently.

#2 value is Prime Video. It’s not Netflix, but it is ‘free’ for subscribers. Some of the content is outstanding. But there is a lot of good free content elsewhere (I can’t stand YouTube myself, mostly because Google so blatantly mines your personal data to sell to advertisers and who knows what else, and it does no good to pay for ad-free, they still mine the data). Amazon does this also of course but I think they are a little more respectful.

#3 is some free music streaming. But I could never be satisfied with the selection. I am more than willing to pay for a service that offers everything, because I like nearly everything. And I pay for classical music channel too for live performances and archive of that. But it is probably okay for people that enjoy the ‘familiar’, maybe even most people who aren’t culture snobs like me.

Distant #4 is being able borrow from a rotating stock of a couple of thousand ebooks and audiobooks and magazine issues, and 1 or 2 free ebooks per month which I take them up on but rarely read. It’s really an afterthought.

KU basically nullifies #4 (except for the free books) as you cannot combine the borrowing limits of each. You can get it for as little as $6/mo. There are more than 70,000 titles, it includes pretty much everything that is in Prime Lending plus a lot more. Almost all of it is content exclusive to Amazon (in ebook format anyway), because those are the terms of entry, but included is a small selection of major publisher content that rotates in and out via some other terms Amazon works out.

Quality is a mixed bag but there is great stuff too, and you aren’t paying much to explore it, and there is no wait list or return-by date pressure. If all I wanted to read were genre fiction, maybe it is not Stephen King or Nora Roberts but you would have an essentially endless supply of ‘comfort’ reading as well as more unusual stuff and total junk. There is non fiction as well, for example piano and guitar sheet music and learning.

I’ve subscribed when it launched, but have never paid $10/month for it. There are regular promotional rates that make it $6-7/month, and offers bundled with new Kindle purchase (3-6 mo for free). I find it difficult to avoid purchasing books that interest me if they are selling for $2-3, and I would wind up buying KU titles without a subscription. So in that sense I get my money’s worth and support independent authors even if some other KU subscribers are actually doing most of the reading. I still read mostly books I’ve bought or borrowed from public library, because KU does not include many books I have a specific interest in, and somehow that reading becomes more ‘urgent’ (only 21 days to read this, or I paid $10 for this), even if it is not objectively ‘better’. It complements that reading though. If you have friends and family who enjoy reading on Kindle, you can lend out Kindles registered to your account and that can also be part of the value (my family has such Kindles but I think they are gathering dust).

This is the FAQ: https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.ht...1002872331#faq

Last edited by tomsem; 01-07-2020 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:03 AM   #4
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Thank you for the information.

As far as YouTube, Google and Ads are concerned, I use an ad-blocker, so don't see any of the Ads Google are targeting at me. I have to disable this on certain sites, mostly newspapers and commercial television channels.

So as far as Prime providing music streaming, that's also available on YouTube. I often listen to Mozart collections while I'm reading.

Although Prime's free and quick delivery is great, there is always the option of making the order amount to over £20 with items from my wish list. Though I hate having to do this.

My interest in KU was prompted by a book I was interested in which would have been free with KU, but I paid about £2.70 for it.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/MISSES-BRON...al-text&sr=1-1

Giving the matter more thought, I realise that the majority of my reading is public domain, so I could go for several months without using KU. I would also want to see more major writers on KU to make it worth bothering with.

Thanks.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:20 AM   #5
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You're missing out if you are a regular Amazon customer and don't have Prime. It's really about the shipping and you can save a lot on shipping, get faster shipping and one in a while great deals exclusive to prime customers. The peripheral stuff like prime reading is pretty weak with a small-ish collection that isn't updated often and of dubious value unless it somehow is a really good match to your particular needs.

Of course Amazon hopes that you pay for prime but don't use it much - the old gym membership model. And if you don't use it much then it will be wasting your money. nosce te ipsum.

Kindle unlimited is valuable to some audiences. If you a lot of your content is "mainstream" i.e. not really esoteric and you don't have a better source for books. Amazon claims hundreds of thousands or million(s) of books available, depending on how out of date the page you are reading their claims on. If you can work with the limitations, it could save you a lot of money over what you might otherwise purchase. As already noted, it's a lending library, you can read ten books at once but have to return items before you can look at another ten.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:56 AM   #6
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Another use for KU is travel books. There are many Lonely Planet guides as well as some of the other travel publishers. If I'm going to be in a city/country for just a couple of days it is ideal, as I can return them when I'm done and not have the guides cluttering up my kindle inbox.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:13 PM   #7
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We have Amazon Prime and we do use it for the free shipping. But I also use it for Amazon Prime Video. So even if I didn't buy much, I still get value from streaming. Amazon has added live sports. They show tennis and soccer. There are some good shows on Prime Video. Plus, they sometimes have discounts on movie rentals. Plus, if you have a 4K TV, you can get some programming in 4K.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:45 PM   #8
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We've been Prime members for a long time, and make use of the free shipping, Prime Video, and Prime Music. It's more than worth it for us. We placed 84 orders last year.

I also have KU, which I use heavily. I paid ahead with one of their holiday offerings last year.

We also have the Amazon Chase card, which we use for all purchases online and off. We make on average $30 per month in their points, and pay it off each month. It more than pays for Prime.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:04 PM   #9
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Amazon Prime has many features - free shipping, free videos, free music, free books, etc. The best is the free shipping and the free videos. There is a very limited selection of free music. ...
Amazon says "2 million hand curated songs" for prime music and "thousands of movies and series" for prime video. So IMO, the video and music are similarly limited. I also seem to get more hits when searching for particular artists/albums with prime music than When I search for particular movies/series on Prime music. YMMV.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:08 PM   #10
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Amazon says "2 million hand curated songs" for prime music and "thousands of movies and series" for prime video. So IMO, the video and music are similarly limited. I also seem to get more hits when searching for particular artists/albums with prime music than When I search for particular movies/series on Prime music. YMMV.
Prime Video is like Netflix. You don't get everything. But overall, Prime Video is not as limited as you are making it out to be.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:19 PM   #11
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Prime Video is like Netflix. You don't get everything. But overall, Prime Video is not as limited as you are making it out to be.
IYO?

I quoted some numbers, and my opinion on the desirability of the content. It is what it is.
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:22 PM   #12
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I thought his assessment of Prime video was generous. The prime video selection is terrible. Yes there is quite a bit of content but the gaps and obvious omissions make this a poor choice compared to.. well just about anyone else.

Prime music is a little more even but it also suffers badly when compared to Deezer, Spotify, Pandora or most other vendors.

Not recommended.
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:28 PM   #13
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We have Amazon Prime and we do use it for the free shipping. But I also use it for Amazon Prime Video. So even if I didn't buy much, I still get value from streaming. Amazon has added live sports. They show tennis and soccer. There are some good shows on Prime Video. Plus, they sometimes have discounts on movie rentals. Plus, if you have a 4K TV, you can get some programming in 4K.
Same here. Main benefits are free shipping and prime video. Other perks, like one or two free new release kindle books each month are minimal, those books are mostly crap.

They did their 1st delivery of premier League football very well. I hope they buy more as I will not pay silly prices at sky sports or bt sport for that when there are many free websites, but it's nice to use a reliable legit service.

They dropped the old, generous family scheme where you could nominate 4 people to all get free shipping but my son still gets that perk on my account. I cannot add anyone else though.
Amazon implementation of 4k video is poor. Many shows are listed twice ,once for hd and once for 4k so you have to carefully pick the correct one. Then if you watch partly on hd tablet but partly on 4k TV, the resume watching and start next episode can go awry. With man in the high castle there is a glitch that means a 4k fire TV stick always plays the not 4k version.i had to find the 4k and watchlist it using the Samsung TV app, as a workaround.
I also found that the much vaunted asap intelligent prebuffer is useless for 4k. The Samsung TV smart app, wired, starts immediately in UHD, but the fire TV stick, with fast WiFi, will take up to a minute to work up from 720 to 1080 to 4k, as displayed in footer.
I sold off 2 X 4k sticks because the smart TV does it better, with less adverising. TV app also has X ray.

Last edited by stumped; 01-08-2020 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:30 PM   #14
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I thought his assessment of Prime video was generous. The prime video selection is terrible. Yes there is quite a bit of content but the gaps and obvious omissions make this a poor choice compared to.. well just about anyone else.

Prime music is a little more even but it also suffers badly when compared to Deezer, Spotify, Pandora or most other vendors.

Not recommended.
What do you think is missing from Prime Video?

I disagree that Prime Video is a poor choice.
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:32 PM   #15
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The music and video offerings, like anything, are subjective. We find the music to be fine for our uses, the same for the occasional video. I wouldn't pay separately for either, but as a perk of Prime, it's decent. Especially the music.

Viewers with more conservative preferences, like myself, find less and less to watch from any provider. But old movies, shows, and documentaries are plentiful.
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