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A commuter (R) reads on a Kindle e-reader while waiting in the subway in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 18, 2011. (BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)
A commuter (R) reads on a Kindle e-reader while waiting in the subway in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 18, 2011. (BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)

Amazon ponders Netflix-like service for e-books, Kindle Unlimited Add to ...

Amazon.com Inc is considering a new e-book subscription service called “Kindle Unlimited,” that aims to replicate popular video-streaming models for the digital books market, according to several online reports and a test page that briefly appeared on the Internet retailer’s website.

The page, spotted by tech blog Gigaom but since taken down, touted a service that for $9.99 (U.S.) a month, would grant unlimited access to more than 600,000 titles including popular books “Life of Pi,” and “Water for Elephants,” as well as blockbuster franchises like the “Hunger Games,” and “Lord of the Rings.”

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A brief promotional message described the service as available “on any device.” Other details remained unclear, however, and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Unlike video streaming, which is dominated by services such as Netflix Inc and Amazon’s own Instant Video, few on-demand, buffet-type options exist for digital readers beyond smaller players such as Sribd. Netflix, for instance, charges several dollars per month for unlimited streaming of movies and TV programs.

Amazon is also investing heavily in digital content and Kindle devices to stream that content. It is currently engaged in difficult negotiations with publishers Hachette Book Group and Simon & Schuster over e-book pricing, according to industry sources.

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