Based on John Walkenbach’s prophesyinglast year, it seemed like Amazon was really headed down the road of free Kindles. However, this new development makes far more sense; if the consumer’s perceived value of the device continues to fall, and Amazon’s more interested in selling the higher-margin e-books, then it could be conceivable that Amazon’s looking for a way to subsidize the continuing hardware costs with an advertising play.
While this play is sensible from Amazon’s standpoint, I do pine for the days when we weren’t inundated with ads. It seems that all sorts of mediums and devices are being saturated with them, when I actually crave a simple, straightfoward, elegant, and uninterrupted experience that’s free of them. Why can’t there be another way: to pay for no ads, no interruptions, no distractions?
Conclusion: Seems like the day when the Kindle (in its current form) is free isn’t too far off. But, does it have to come with the price of ever-increasing ads vying for our eyes?
“Customer data for in-app subscribers will remain with Apple, generally speaking, but customers will have the option to send their name, email address, and zip code to publishers. (Opt-in, not opt-out.)”
And the reason why this is important: it’s estimated that 35% of a high-quality content publisher’s revenues come from subscriptions, whereas 65% of revenues come from advertisers.1,2 If advertisers can’t rely on publishers for reliable demographic/ethnographic data, they won’t justify paying premiums to the publishers. Publishers in turn will get their 65% of revenues knocked down. And who wins? Definitely not the publishers.
Bottom line: Know your business model, quality publishers, because even the pundits get it wrong! Apple is threatening the very survival of curated content on their platform with this approach.