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This won't have the major publishing houses titles (beyond those who have agreed to work with Oyster). So no Penguin Random House, the market leader in print and audio. It also remains to be seen if the subscription model can work for books - they take longer to consume than movies or music. So you can imaging slower or busy readers being punished with a subscription unless they make it through 1.5 books per month which is where it makes sense to buy it. I don't think many people would like that over their head. Plus there's the library and used books, and just borrowing - all things we do way less of for movies and music.

> So no Penguin Random House, the market leader in print and audio

The market leader in print and audio fiction.

Fiction is ephemeral - mostly read and then discarded. The awesome potential for this service is in factual and reference books that are used hundreds or thousands of time each in their lifetime.

The 1.5 books per month metric is diluted in that case when it's possible to dip into 100 books per month just to extract the one snippet of information needed from each.

Kindle rental price for academic nonfiction is often quite pricy, e.g. $10 for one week for one book.

True, O'Reilly books has had a successful, expensive, subscription service for years. All reference titles, and more enterprise customers.

I think Safari Books Online has been doing well

It's a shame how little the authors of the books see from that service.

Is the royalty structure public?

One thing that immediately strikes me is that this would be very useful for nonfiction, if one wants to nibble a chapter here and a chapter there. For my own use I'm more worried that unlimited really is "unlimited". Not that it's going to matter for me, the chance that it will be available outside the US is nil.

On the other side of that, it kind of makes more sense (to me) to buy music and rent (subscribe to) books because music is usually listened to repeatedly while books are usually read once and then not again (or at least not for a long time after the first time).

On the other hand, you will almost always want access to an enormous music library (few $ per month), but might not always need a new book. With used paperbacks only a few bucks each, you can collect (or cycle through) a lot of books for $120/year.

True. But we're not talking about used paperbacks anymore more than we're talking about used CDs. Digital copies of books are not discounted once they're "used" so you aren't going to collect as many ebooks for $120/year. It really just depends on the usage patterns. My kids could probably put a $10/month book service out of business. I would probably be their best customer with like 1 book a quarter. :)

>Digital copies of books are not discounted once they're "used"

Well this is a whole different issue entirely, and could start another entire discussion.

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