Amazon has just fired the biggest salvo yet in the ebook price wars-a Kindle with “special offers”, ie ads, for $114, or $25 less than the non-ad based WiFi Kindle. It will offer ads on the screensavers and along the bottom of the homescreen, plus Amazon is promising you can “customize” the ads you receive on the “Manage your Kindle” page.
This is a brilliant test balloon for Amazon. First, starting with the WiFi Kindle is smart. It’s already near an impulse price, and this brings it closer to the magic $99 price point. Plus, if it fails to bring in enough ad revenue to cover the subsidization, Amazon isn’t on the hook for the cost difference plus wireless costs, etc like with the 3G model. If it’s a wild success, I am quite sure we’ll see a 3G version ASAP. In fact, if it’s a success I am quite sure we’ll see a 3G at $150 subsidized and a WiFi version at $99.
But here’s where this is really great. No one, not even Apple, knows as much about what we shop for as Amazon does. They know what books you read, they know what kind of shoes you like, even what you feed your pet. Anything you check out on Amazon is in their database, so those ads being served up on the Kindle are going to be even more valuable. B&N can’t easily match that level of knowledge, not without surveys and paying big time for customer lists. Even Apple is limited to what they know about apps and media. Only Amazon is nearly a one-stop shop, so if this is successful they’ll have a much easier time marketing the program to new advertisers, who will happily pay more to get their ad on the Kindle of a person who’s more likely to buy!
Now, here’s the big question: Would you buy a subsidized Kindle? Share your answer below, and be sure to check out Amazon’s full press release!
Amazon Introduces New Kindle Family Member: Kindle with Special Offers for $114
SOURCE: Amazon.com, Inc.
$25 less for the same #1 bestselling latest-generation Kindle plus special offers and sponsored screensavers
Special offers in the initial weeks include $10 for $20 Amazon.com Gift Card, $1 for an album in the Amazon MP3 Store, and a $100 Gift Card with a new Amazon Rewards Visa Card
Amazon also introduces “AdMash” – the new free Kindle app and website where customers vote for the most attractive sponsored screensavers
SEATTLE, Apr 11, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — (NASDAQ:AMZN)–Millions of people are reading on Kindle, Kindle has more 5-star reviews than any other product on Amazon, and in just five months the latest-generation Kindle became the bestselling product in the 16-year history of Amazon.com. Today, Amazon introduced a new member of the Kindle family – Kindle with Special Offers for only $114. Kindle with Special Offers is the same #1 bestselling Kindle, plus special offers and sponsored screensavers. Kindle special offers and sponsored screensavers display on the Kindle screensaver and on the bottom of the home screen. Learn more about all three latest-generation Kindle family members–$114 Kindle with Special Offers, $139 Kindle, and $189 Kindle 3G–at www.amazon.com/kindle. Kindle with Special Offers is now available for pre-order to customers in the U.S. and will ship on May 3.
“We’re working hard to make sure that anyone who wants a Kindle can afford one,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Kindle with Special Offers is the same #1 bestselling Kindle – and it’s only $114. Kindle is the best deal in consumer electronics anywhere in the world.”
Buick, Olay (Procter & Gamble), Visa, and Amazon.com Reward Visa Card (Chase) are sponsoring the first series of screensavers specially-designed for Kindle’s high-contrast, no glare electronic ink display (for screensaver examples, visit www.amazon.com/aboutkindlespecialoffers). Examples of deals that will be delivered directly to Kindle with Special Offers devices in the initial weeks include:
- $10 for $20 Amazon.com Gift Card
- $6 for 6 Audible Books (normally $68)
- $1 for an album in the Amazon MP3 Store (choose from over 1 million albums)
- $10 for $30 of products in the Amazon Denim Shop or Amazon Swim Shop
- Free $100 Amazon.com Gift Card when you get an Amazon Rewards Visa Card (normally $30)
- Buy one of 30 Kindle bestsellers with your Visa card and get $10 Amazon.com credit
- 50% off Roku Streaming Player (normally $99)
To make sure customers don’t miss any of the offers, a full list of active offers will be available from the menu of Kindle with Special Offers at any time.
Amazon is also introducing “AdMash” – the free Kindle app and website where customers choose the most attractive and engaging display advertisements that will become Kindle sponsored screensavers. Kindle’s sponsored screensavers are specially-designed display advertisements that take advantage of Kindle’s high-contrast, no-glare electronic-ink display. Before these advertisements can be presented to Kindle customers, they are first previewed by customers using AdMash. Users are presented with pairs of sponsored screensaver candidates and asked to select which one they prefer. Screensavers with the most preferred votes qualify to become sponsored screensavers. The AdMash Kindle app will launch in the coming weeks – for a preview, visit www.amazon.com/aboutkindlespecialoffers.
In addition, Kindle with Special Offers customers can give Amazon hints on the style and types of sponsored screensavers they would like to see. From the Manage Your Kindle page on Amazon.com, customers can use Kindle Screensaver Preferences to indicate whether they like to see more or less screensavers that include elements such as landscapes and scenery, architecture, travel images, photography, and illustrations. Together, AdMash voting and Kindle Screensaver Preferences help Amazon present sponsored screensavers that customers find attractive and engaging. For screenshots of Kindle screensavers, AdMash and Kindle Screensaver Preferences, visitwww.amazon.com/aboutkindlespecialoffers.
“The opportunity to offer custom-designed Kindle screensavers was a natural fit for Buick because Kindle is such a unique device surrounded by a community of intelligent, passionate people,” said Craig Bierley, Director of Advertising and Promotions, Buick. “Kindle’s high contrast e-ink display eliminates glare and is perfect for emotionally engaging and impactful brand imagery, allowing us to connect with Kindle readers wherever and whenever.”
Kindle with Special Offers includes all the same features that helped make the third-generation Kindle the #1 bestselling product in the history of Amazon.com:
- Paper-like Pearl electronic-ink display, no glare even in bright sunlight
- 8.5 ounce body for hours of comfortable reading with one hand
- Up to one month of battery life with wireless off eliminates battery anxiety
- Kindle Store with over 900,000 books – largest selection of the most popular books
- Seamless integration with free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Android-based devices
Learn more about all three latest-generation Kindle family members–$114 Kindle with Special Offers, $139 Kindle, and $189 Kindle 3G–at www.amazon.com/kindle. Advertisers and agencies interested in learning more about Kindle sponsorship opportunities can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle, Kindle 3G and Kindle DX are the revolutionary portable readers that wirelessly download books, magazines, newspapers, blogs and personal documents to a crisp, high-resolution electronic ink display that looks and reads like real paper. Kindle 3G and Kindle DX utilize the same 3G wireless technology as advanced cell phones, so users never need to hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot. Kindle is the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items sold on Amazon.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de,www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, and www.amazon.it. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.