Amazon is in talks with a number of book publishers for the launch of a subscription service for e-books, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The report says that Amazon is planning for a Netflix Inc.-like service for digital books, where customers would pay an annual fee to access a library of content. Users would also be able to download content to their computers, smartphone devices and tablets. The online retail giant would initially begin with a digital library of older books and then the service would be extended to Amazon Prime customers, who currently spend $79 a year for fast shipping, and for gaining access to a digital library of thousands of movies and TV shows, which can be streamed to their computers and mobile devices. The library would offer limited number of free e-book downloads per month.
Amazon is keen on proceeding with this idea. However, some of the publishers are skeptical about this plan. They feel that this new service might lower the value of books and would also strain their relationships with other retailers that sell their books. Amazon is apparently offering a substantial fee, to coax these publishers. Whether any of these book publishers are ready to work with Amazon is not known yet.
Apart from this new digital library, Amazon is also working towards the launch of its tablet which is expected to be a major hit, with analysts claiming that the sale of Amazon tablets would surpass Apple iPads. Amazon also revamped its website recently to give it a clutter-free look and to provide more visibility to the company’s major digital projects.