Amazon is paving the way for its Kindle Tablet by soliciting newspaper, magazine and book publishers to offer their content via the slate, which aims to challenge Apple's iPad.
Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) is negotiating with magazine
and newspaper publishers over subscription- and single-copy periodical pricing,
and noodling over a streaming book service with book publishers--all to fortify its content fortress for its
The e-commerce giant is expected to
launch the Kindle Tablet
, a 7-inch, Android-based tablet this November. The
slate would cost less than $300, priced to challenge Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) popular iPad
The Wall Street Journal
, citing industry sources familiar with the company's plans,
said Amazon and content publishers are brokering terms similar to those Apple
offered for the iPad.
Apple launched its content subscription service
to provide a way for publishers
of digital magazines, newspapers, music and other applications to make money
from their work.
When customers subscribe to an application via Apple's iTunes
App Store, Apple collects 30 percent of the fee. Publishers who opt to use
Apple's platform must also make content available for sale through applications
at the App Store for the same price.
From its dominant tablet market share of 80 percent,
Apple has strong-armed most publishers into accepting this model, with publishing
powerhouses such as The New York Times
and Conde Nast agreeing to Apple's
Just as it plans to undercut the iPad by offering a
tablet that costs at least $200 less than the $500 iPad 2, it is likely Amazon
would undercut Apple's iPad subscription pricing to entice content providers to
make their newspapers and magazine available on the Kindle Tablet.
Amazon is also toying with the notion of offering
consumers big content library of older books on a subscription basis via the
company's Amazon Prime service, the
Wall Street Journal
Customers currently pay $79 a year for the service, which
now includes unlimited two-day shipping and access to some TV shows and movies
from Amazon's Instant Video streaming service. Adding books to that service is a natural media
However, bringing books to Prime may be a longer shot
than the newspaper and magazine subscriptions. According to the Journal, publishing
executives aren't cozy with the notion "because they believe it could
lower the value of books and because it could strain their relationships with
other retailers that sell their books."
Amazon declined to comment on either its magazine and
periodical subscription plans or the book subscription service. However, it's
easy to see why Amazon would want to play there.
Media content is king on tablets. Apple is making a
killing off serving media over the iPad, from subscriptions to The
New York Times
app to book titles from its iBookstore.
Publishers from all
genres recognize consumers take their tablets with them to access their media
content, making them a natural new screen through which to reach new and
If Amazon can provide a credible, alternative tablet and
broad, rich content ecosystem, it could challenge the iPad, which enjoys sales
of more than 30 million units to date.