September 12, 2011, 8:28 PM — The Internet is abuzz with talk of Amazon's rumored streaming service for books. This news is exciting for any business, professional, or student that relies on research from original sources.
According to the rumor, Amazon Prime members would have access to books through the new service. You can currently become an Amazon Prime member for an annual fee of $79, and they have already made streaming movies available to their members. All Amazon would need to do is to add books to the menu.
Here are four reasons that this could mean a lot to any business, writers and publishers included. We're going to take a leap of faith here and assume that what Amazon is offering goes beyond the usual Project Gutenberg titles that every e-book reader and service has made available for free, since they will need to do so to attract subscribers to their service.
1. Google Books Is Not Enough
Google Books is currently the most thorough repository of books on the Internet. Since it only offers a free preview of a book, many students and others only use the portions of content that are available on the free preview in their research. If the titles on Amazon's streaming book service are at all similar to the titles on Google Books, 100% of the publication would be available to Amazon Prime members.
2. Businesses Can Advertise to Relevant Readers
If Amazon succeeds in negotiating such a service with publishers and authors, which is still a big "if" at this point, there is a huge opportunity for them to target readers of specific titles for products with advertisements. As long as the ads were unobtrusive to the reading process, this could represent an excellent targeting opportunity for businesses and a potential additional revenue stream for Amazon.
3. Authors and Publishers Enjoy Immediate Payment
Metrics will be instantly available as to who streamed what book. This allows both authors and publishers to capitalize on work that may have sat on a shelf unnoticed in the past, either online or off. This is a model that has worked well with Apple's iPad, which Amazon is rumoured to be basing its pricing models on.
4. Books Open Up to Wider Market