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Amazon To Offer Ad-Supported Kindle

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the make-me-an-offer-i-can-refuse dept.

Advertising 210

awyeah writes "Amazon will soon be offering a discounted, ad-supported Wi-Fi Kindle called 'Kindle with Special Offers.' The price will be $114, a $25 discount from the $139 wifi-only device. Note that the advertisements will not appear during reading, only on the screen saver and home page. Will that be enough of a discount to get readers to purchase an ad-supported device?"

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I LUV AIDS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792050)

I mean ads. Can't get enuf of em. Give me more !! so long as the rest is cheaper !!

not enough of a discount (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792068)

An ad supported kindle should be free, or at least under $40. I would gladly pay the extra $25 to not see ads. In fact, I have.

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792386)

yeah $25 off is clearly not enough, it needs to be no more than half the price to make it worth actually considering the ad supported version

Re:not enough of a discount (2)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792842)

yeah $25 off is clearly not enough, it needs to be no more than half the price to make it worth actually considering the ad supported version

I disagree. There are plenty people who buy a kindle that would happily accept a small discount in exchange for some shitty screen-savers. Personally I would get one just for the challenge of killing the ads and turning it into a regular kindle.

Re:not enough of a discount (3, Interesting)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792864)

Prescription, do you own/have you used a Kindle?

The way these ads are delivered is just about the least intrusive advertising vector I can think of. The ads will be displayed on the hibernation screen that appears when the Kindle is off. On current Kindles what is displayed is a rotating selection of portraits of authors or literary illustrations. Replacing those images with ads will literally cost the user absolutely nothing in terms of cost, time, or attention.

Quite the opposite, because Amazon's recommendation system is so robust, as a current Kindle owner I would be interested in getting this on my current Kindle. Amazon does a great job of offering recommendations for e-book purchases based on what I've read in the past. We're supposed to be living in the future, it would be nice if my e-book reader is smart enough to make intelligent recommendations on what I might like to read next.

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35793058)

Really? If it's only the screensaver that has the ads, then how do people 'click to buy' what's in the ads? User input is disabled in the screensaver.

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

mikejuk (1801200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792388)

It's not just the reduction in the price you also get special offers and the inital offers include $10 off a gift card and $10 ebook credit and so on... http://www.i-programmer.info/news/152-epub/2279-kindle-with-ads-is-that-a-good-bargain.html [i-programmer.info] Its more like Kindle with coupons!

Re:not enough of a discount (2)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792512)

> Its more like Kindle with coupons!

KroupOn!

Re:not enough of a discount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792396)

Then it would really have to display ads during reading. No way they're going to get it so low priced otherwise. And this would mean something like on screen video ads and underlining the text you're reading with ad links.

Re:not enough of a discount (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792424)

Yeah I wouldn't mind buying the device with ads for 2 years, where if I stop connecting to Amazon they start charging me monthly or something, to pay it off. Device sold by 2 years of served ads, and lucre on purchased ebooks. The trick would be getting a free one and never touching it, which is costly to Amazon; so of course if I'm not connecting to Amazon to get their ads, I should be billed.

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792430)

It will never happen because the devices can be freed from Amazon and you just got the device for free or cost and Amazon got nothing.

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

heathen_01 (1191043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792490)

If the ads are not absurdly obnoxious then how many would really do it? Do you realise that there are people who watch broadcast TV with advertisments when they have the DVD of the same film sitting right next to the TV?

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792550)

If the ads are not absurdly obnoxious then how many would really do it? Do you realise that there are people who watch broadcast TV with advertisments when they have the DVD of the same film sitting right next to the TV?

Can you buy a legal DVD of a film that doesn't have 15 minutes of commercials at the start? The "illegal" copies are much better than the original.

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792832)

Can you buy a legal DVD of a film that doesn't have 15 minutes of commercials at the start? The "illegal" copies are much better than the original.

Legal DVDs I've watched (bought in GB/IE/FR/DE/BE/LU) don't seem to have this any more.

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792942)

Yep, I've noticed a drop in the trend, though they're not completely gone. That said, almost all of them that still do it don't mess with the fastforward button anymore, so you can skip them.

It always puzzled me why they'd put ads that were really only viable for 6 months on a medium that will last decades. I put in an old VHS a few weeks back (can't even remember which film it was now) and it was advertising the "Upcoming Film" "Earth Girls Are Easy" staring Gina Davis and Jeff Goldblum . . . (for those that don't know, that film came out in 1988, and it sucked). What kind of idiocy creates a situation where I'm watching ads for a 23 year old movie?

Re:not enough of a discount (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792602)

If the ads are not absurdly obnoxious then how many would really do it?

It took me some time to figure out what you meant. Try complete sentences. Anyway, offering a substantially discounted Kindle would only create a market for unlocked Kindles with alternative software. Amazon most especially does not want to do this.

Re:not enough of a discount (3, Insightful)

e3m4n (947977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792514)

They totally missed their opportunity here.. ad support is a good start but they should have worked with periodicals to create a subsidy for a steeper discount. Perhaps they could create a $40 version that required you to subscribe to the NYTimes publication for a period of 12 months that also had the ads on there. The NYT completely saves on printing cost, they expand their reading base, and amazon.com gets more devices out there. Its the cell phone concept that has proven to work very well.

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792576)

they should have worked with periodicals to create a subsidy for a steeper discount.

A discount? I'd be happy (a happy subscriber) if "The Economist" cost less on Kindle than in print.

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

e3m4n (947977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35793012)

don't get me started on that :-) .. those fucking assholes only have to pay editors, journalists, accounting, marketing, sales, and IT staff to produce electronic publications.. to produce bound printed material you have all those costs plus the huge printing cost to run all that equipment, materials, staff, shipping etc. They keep trying to charge full price to cover the expenses of all the bound printed material employees. The reality is electronic periodicals have a future and printed material really doesn't. This sort of overcharging to cover the reality that they have way more employees than really needed is the same problem the post office is facing. Weve had more rate increases in the last 10 years than the 200 years preceding. The reason is fewer items are being mailed but the cost of all the infrastructure and employees isnt changing.

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792594)

An ad supported kindle should be free, or at least under $40. I would gladly pay the extra $25 to not see ads. In fact, I have.

Agreed, the $25 discount for a lifetime of adverts doesn't seem to be a particularly good deal. In addition, if you have the disposable income to drop $114 on a reading device, there is a good chance you can afford the extra to get one without ads.

Personally I think the discount should have been $40. Only because then it would then make that version of the Kindle cost $99 which, I believe, is considered the sweet spot for many consumers.

Given Amazon's vast retail knowledge, I'm surprised they didn't do this. Or maybe they are just testing the water in preparation for a $99 Kindle for Christmas?

Re:not enough of a discount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792686)

Considering that the Kindle is basically a portable shopping cart for nothing but Amazon reading material, it should be under $40 already.

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792718)

An ad supported kindle should be free

And why exactly 'should' it? What if Amazon have estimated the average ad revenue per device to be $25, should they drop the price by an additional $114 dollars because they enjoy losing money. Would it be better if they offered a free version that constantly spews audio ads, and shows text ads inserted in books (to earn that $139 discount) instead of this version with 'unobtrusive' ads? Personally, the discount probably isn't enough to make me take it. Perhaps enough people will to make it worth Amazon doing.

Saying Amazon 'should' make it free doesn't mean anything, without some further information. If I thought Google should host all my files securely for free, it doesn't tell you anything unless I explain why it would be of benefit to them to do so, or what I think they could do to make it happen. Anything less is the adult equivalent of a child who wants a pony, and can't appreciate that buying it would mean selling the family house.

Re:not enough of a discount (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792800)

$25 is actually insulting. In fact, I think I'm going to punch Jeff Bezos right in his smug face when I see him again.

And if this turns out to be a precursor to models that *require* ad viewing (the way movies and DVD's have gone now), I'm going to kick him in the balls too.

Re:not enough of a discount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792818)

An ad supported TV should be free, or at least under $(made up number with no justification). I would gladyl pay and extra $25 to not see ads. In fact, I have.

It amazes me that people flip out over these ads that only happen when A) you're not using the device and B) when you're already seeing ads from Amazon anyway, even though they do not look like a traditional ad. I wish the same people crying about this would apply the same logic to television. You pay thousands of dollars for a set and up to a few hundred dollars a month and (tada!) you still have to look at friggin ads!!! I guess it shows where people really value their money. Have fun paying for and watching SyFy and it's 12 minutes of commericals for every 18 minutes of non-commercial content suckers. You'd probably never see 12 minutes worth of Kindle ads in the lifetime of the device even if you were a heavy user.

Buyers Remorse (5, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792084)

"...Will that be enough of a discount to get readers to purchase an ad-supported device?"

Probably, but chances are most users, no matter how unobtrusive the ads may be, will likely regret not forking over the "extra" $25 to try and have at least ONE electronic experience that is ad-free, as one can hardly get away from advertising these days, no matter where you are.

Re:Buyers Remorse (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792462)

Probably, but chances are most users, no matter how unobtrusive the ads may be, will likely regret not forking over the "extra" $25 to try and have at least ONE electronic experience that is ad-free, as one can hardly get away from advertising these days, no matter where you are.

This post brought to you by Coca-Cola. Coke is it!

Re:Buyers Remorse (2)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792534)

Ads. Coming soon to your dreams!

Didn't you have ads in the 21st century?"
Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.

Damn near prescient [imdb.com] I would say!

Limited Time (2)

Gutboy (587531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792090)

For $25 do I only get ads for a week or two? Or for the rest of the devices lifetime? It's not worth the discount if the latter.

Re:Limited Time (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792302)

For $25 do I only get ads for a week or two? Or for the rest of the devices lifetime? It's not worth the discount if the latter.

Do you mean "the former" or are you being sarcastic?

Re:Limited Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792364)

For $25 do I only get ads for a week or two? Or for the rest of the devices lifetime? It's not worth the discount if the latter.

Do you mean "the former" or are you being sarcastic?

Did you have a brain fart?

Re:Limited Time (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792474)

For $25 do I only get ads for a week or two? Or for the rest of the devices lifetime? It's not worth the discount if the latter.

Do you mean "the former" or are you being sarcastic?

Did you have a brain fart?

Whoops yes!

Re:Limited Time (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792404)

No, he means the latter. I'd take the $25 discount if it was only 2 weeks of ads.

Seriously though, if the ads aren't there while reading the book, I don't see the big deal even if it's for the lifetime of the device. The only time I look at my Kindle is when I'm actually reading a book. Now, I don't want ads myself, but I know some people who would take that kind of discount. Some people even seem to like ads..

Re:Limited Time (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792616)

...Seriously though, if the ads aren't there while reading the book, I don't see the big deal even if it's for the lifetime of the device.

So, I would assume that when you DVR your favorite TV show, you do NOT fast-forward past the commercials? I mean, technically they aren't there when you're watching your TV show...

Re:Limited Time (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792948)

As long as what you're trying to do is read the book, there won't be any commercials. This is more like a DVD player that switches to a (silent) ad whenever it's been in pause mode for more than five minutes, but otherwise never shows one.

only $25 off on a long-lived device? (2)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792102)

Nope. Not nearly enough.

Re:only $25 off on a long-lived device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792180)

Seeing as they're only on the screen when the screen isn't used, it makes zero different to what the device does now. You obviously haven't got one, so have no clue about what you're saying. Just like the story submitter, there is no screensaver mode, the screen isn't a CRT or LCD, it's e-ink and has no concept of screen burn.

Re:only $25 off on a long-lived device? (1)

woolpert (1442969) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792272)

Is this your entry in "how many incorrect statements can be made in one post"?

Re:only $25 off on a long-lived device? (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792426)

There is a "screensaver", though of course it doesn't really act as a screensaver, it's more of a notification that the device is now on standby.

Re:only $25 off on a long-lived device? (2)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792664)

I do actually have one - it was an unwanted gift from my mother in law. She's very nice. The only use I've had for it is using it to demo the accessibility features for a radio show I do for vision impaired people. I rather like the author portraits it displays in standby mode and would be sad to lose those to ads, esp. if only for a $25 discount.

Re:only $25 off on a long-lived device? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792372)

Well don't buy one. Problem solved! See how easy that is?

Inevitable End Result (2)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792106)

I think the inevitable end result of ad-supported e-Books is subtle (or not so subtle) product placements inserted into books. I can't wait until "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" becomes a product placement for Timex, and Tom Sawyer takes a refreshing sip of Coca-cola as he rafts down the Mississippi.

Re:Inevitable End Result (1)

slyrat (1143997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792250)

I think the inevitable end result of ad-supported e-Books is subtle (or not so subtle) product placements inserted into books. I can't wait until "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" becomes a product placement for Timex, and Tom Sawyer takes a refreshing sip of Coca-cola as he rafts down the Mississippi.

Well it is already being done. The site wowio [wowio.com] offers some of its books for free with ads placed in the books. They also have comic books with the same formula. I'm sure it will expand a bit and it often can work well if it is the first in a series. Baen [baen.com] has done similar, though no ads in theirs. In that case the Author chose for particular books to be free and Baen was fine with it. I'm sure that publishers will come up with other interesting ideas to get more people reading.

Re:Inevitable End Result (1)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35793100)

Tom Sawyer takes a refreshing sip of Coca-cola as he rafts down the Mississippi.

You may want to check up on your Twain, amigo. Huck Finn rafted down the Mississippi.

-damn, I'm a literature nazi

Re:Inevitable End Result (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792354)

Easier to leave the text unedited, and just place banners and fullpage ads.
The text might be scanned though, and topic-relevant ads might be placed.

Re:Inevitable End Result (1)

proslack (797189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792600)

Nothing new under the sun. Check out any old pulp magazine from the 20s or 30s, or a modern Reader's Digest or Analog. Ad-supported, just like your local newspaper. Most paperbacks have adverts in the back for other books from that publishing house.

An important detail (3, Interesting)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792116)

Will the device refuse to run if it's not able to connect to the ad server?

Re:An important detail (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792270)

A bigger question: Will it still be hackable? I could see some that planned on hacking the thing anyway saving $25, the same as I've known Linux guys that would take the cheapest trialware ridden laptop because they knew they'd never even boot into the mess anyway, so it saved them money.

So the bigger question is what is stopping the hackers from doing this now? Anything? And how long before this is mandatory? I bet Amazon isn't making huge profits on the thing to start with (and all corps seem to believe they are entitled to huge profits nowadays) and force feeding ads would probably make them a mint. So how long with you be able to buy the "Non TiVo'd" Kindle, vs one that protects their ad revenue with eFuses or code signing?

I'm all for choice, and if they offered this thing for $40 or less with ads I'd probably get one just to play with, but I worry about the future of ads on mobile devices. We can hardly escape ads now as it is, with even schools renting out spaces on lockers and tables to ad companies, so how long until you can't escape the crap?

It would probably display cached ads (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792328)

Will the device refuse to run if it's not able to connect to the ad server?

Between connections to the Internet, the device would probably display cached ads, and then it would update them when the user buys a new book.

Re:It would probably display cached ads (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#35793000)

A question that your post just raised for me is if Amazon will require periodic connections in order to push those ads. For the 3G users that's not so much of a problem, they can just turn on the 3G radio for a minute until the notification goes away. But as a Wi-Fi only Kindle user I might be a little peeved to find out that Amazon expects me to find a wireless network every 2-3 weeks to check in.

Re:An important detail (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792618)

Will the device refuse to run if it's not able to connect to the ad server?

Blocking an ad server over your own wifi would be trivial.

Blocking an ad server over someone elses wifi, tough, but theoretically possible if you trespass inside someone elses wifi-router.

Blocking the 3G data connection to the ad server... probably not easy at all.

Re:An important detail (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792968)

Blocking an ad server over your own wifi would be trivial.

Not if the ad server is the Kindle sync server.

$25 for reduced battery life?!? (2)

RingDev (879105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792134)

Sign me up!

-Rick

Re:$25 for reduced battery life?!? (4, Informative)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792422)

Other than pinging the radio once in a while (which it could do while charging, if you wanted to be nice about it), putting ads on the e-ink screens do not draw extra power. The Kindle already flashes the screen once to show a "screen saver" image.

Re:$25 for reduced battery life?!? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792468)

Well.. Actually the only extra battery use would be from the retrieval of ads from their servers. I assume it will only do this when in wifi or 3g is on, then cache the ads until connectivity is on again. The amount of power used to download these ads will probably be trivially small so I doubt it will lower you battery life much if any.

Coffee Table Real Estate (4, Insightful)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792138)

At a hardware level, the e-ink screen is begging for this kind of treatment. When powered off, it's basically a coffee-table billboard waiting to happen, married to all the radios and spyware you need to profile the house its sitting in and deliver the ads.

I'm totally grossed out by this. For now it's opt in, but it won't be in the future. Expect this to show up on all kinds of crap as e-ink screen prices drop. Lunch boxes, refrigerators, etc.

Just another reason the $75 Kobo is the best e-reader on the market (I've owned a Nook, Kindle and Kobo).

Re:Coffee Table Real Estate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792234)

Not on my coffee table!

Re:Coffee Table Real Estate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792252)

$75 for a Kobo? Where? The lowest retail price I can find is $100 from Borders...

Re:Coffee Table Real Estate (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792312)

ebay. People are clearing out Borders locations and/or cashing in soon-to-be-void gift cards, then flipping the Kobo for a loss.

Re:Coffee Table Real Estate (2)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792416)

it's too bad RCA doesn't get back into the eReader business

i had an REB 1100 which included a resistive touch screen indiglo backlit LCD and integrated modem to dial in and buy books.

it still had the best UI i have seen for an e reader

the the page foreward and back buttons were large flipper-ish buttons on the side that could be hit with a palm squeeze, and one of the functions was a direction button where any of the 4 sides could be designated as the top, since it was not physically symmetrical this was very useful, you could turn it landscape with the fat part as top and place the book on a table or desk, with the thin side as top when holding landscapr, or either end as top depending if you were holding it left or right handed (iirc flipping which was top also switched which of the page flippers was forward and back, but i'm not sure on that one)

Re:Coffee Table Real Estate (2)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792748)

Kindle offers orientation changing (though not automatically like the iPad and not with a single button press). The page buttons aren't as nice as what you're describing, though.

Re:Coffee Table Real Estate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792632)

you all ready get suggestions for other books once you get to the end of the book you are reading as well as get asked to rate the book. I just hope they dont advertise books, it doesn't need to be easier for me to buy books, thirty some are siting in my to read list. It is the only draw back I can really find with the kindle.

I think I'll wait... (0)

mattgoldey (753976) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792222)

until the hackers figure out how to disable the ads on the cheaper model and then I'll get one. ;)

Not even close (1)

Brooklynoid (656617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792236)

Considering their closed business model (you can't read an eBook from any vendor other than Amazon on a Kindle), the device itself, even without ads, should be very close to free. Amazon should be looking at the Gilette business model; charge next to nothing for your razors and make your money on the blades. I might pay $25 for a device that locks me into Amazon as my exclusive eBook vendor, but not a penny more.

Re:Not even close (1)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792434)

I was under the impression that you were able to do this, as long as the eBook doesn't have DRM. I don't recall what formats it supports, but, if there's no DRM, then you can convert it to a format that is supported. I know the Kindle app for iPhone supports .mobi formatted files now. The downside is that you have to sync them with iTunes, and your bookmarks and "last page read" aren't synced to Amazon and back to other devices.

As for an actual Kindle, I know you can at least email "Word and picture files" to it, for a small fee. Alternatively, I believe you're able to copy things to it over USB.

Re:Not even close (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35793068)

You can read any Mobipocket book on a Kindle via USB sideload, download from a website, or the Kindle wireless file transfer (over the 3G connection, it's $0.15/MB, free over WiFi, and any conversions Amazon would do can be done for free via the @free.kindle.com address and USB). A non-DRM'ed book (or one whose DRM has been removed) can easily be converted into Mobipocket by using Calibre.

Re:Not even close (4, Informative)

HelioWalton (1821492) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792456)

(you can't read an eBook from any vendor other than Amazon on a Kindle),

And where exactly did you come up with this? The main problem is that it can't read ePubs, but you can load anything in a format it supports (txt, mobi, html, pdf if you are masochistic, etc....) via USB, and with some (txt, mobi I think are the only two), you can even download them using the experimental web browser from any store or website.

Re:Not even close (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792870)

No kidding. How much does a second or third generation kindle cost to manufacture? Lock-in is annoying and reduces it's value. Ad-servers are going to slow down the experience, connecting, updating,"verifying". The dead tree book is harder to get and store but, it will work every time you open it. Won't need updates, affect your other devices or change it's mind about a business model.

I predict (1)

rainmayun (842754) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792258)

Amazon will eventually drop the price to $99 or less, and at that price point buyers will be willing to accept a cheaper, ad-subsidized device.

Re:I predict (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792706)

That's redundant. If $99 is a price point [wikipedia.org] , then by definition it'll be accepted by buyers. I think you mean "price," not price point.

Re:I predict (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#35793048)

I think you are right on. That $100 mark is a weirdly magic number for a lot of electronic devices. If Amazon can get a Kindle in for $99 or less, that thing could kick babies and people would still think they're getting a good deal on it.

What about book prices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792266)

I'd much rather see this model apply to eBook prices rather than the readers themselves. I took the plunge a week ago and got me a fancy-pants new eReader, only to find that the prices for the eBooks are actually higher than the prices for the mass-market paperbacks in a lot of cases.

That is the best they could do? (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792280)

Who in their right mind would subject themselves to advertising for the life of a product to save a measly $25. One would think that after the success of the Kindle and its proprietary nature they would be able to approach advertisers and offer a rather large captive audience that is fully trackable and work out a deal to basically give kindles away....that would have impressive and could have worked to make kindles as ubiquitous as television.

How lame. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792298)

What a deal -- if you are an advertising firm. $25 for directed adverts for years.

Not only is the $25 not enough of a discount, but it is enough to make me spend lots more on a different device.

Advertising strikes me as a bizarre idea (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792314)

Basically the Kindle's primary purpose is as a promotional tool for eBooks. Amazon wants people to buy eBooks and they want them to buy from Amazon.

So the device is an advertisment.

Might Be Better Than It Sounds (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792342)

The Kindle is based on e-ink, which consumes a negligible amount of electricity when displaying a page. The ads will only be displayed on the lock screen page, and the bottom of the home page. There will not be any ads on the bottom of the books themselves. This might work if Amazon regularly includes really great offers to owners of the ad-Kindle such as half-priced Amazon gift cards and books, as the article suggests.

Personally, I'd rather pay the extra $25 to get an ad-free version. However, if this works out and advertisers are plenty, Amazon might start giving bigger discounts to get a larger audience.

The result? (1)

Lunaritian (2018246) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792362)

Save $25, spend hundreds of dollars buying advertised stuff.

Nope (1)

Ferretman (224859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792382)

Sorry, if it's going to subject me to ads then it needs to be free, or so cheap that I'll *feel* like I'm actually getting a deal. Ferretman

It should be free! (1)

SirAstral (1349985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792390)

If you want to disturb me in any way with an Ad, the service I am using better be free.

Re:It should be free! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792700)

If you want to disturb me in any way with an Ad, the service I am using better be free.

Do you subscribe to cable or satellite TV?

Oh, the horror... (5, Interesting)

Diddlbiker (1022703) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792418)

...of having an ad on the cover of a device when it is turned off. Thank god your tablet, smartphone or laptop does not have a big logo on the cover, advertising its manufacturer.

I wouldn't mind getting a $25 discount for that. The two problems that I have with it are:
* Are the ads related to what I bought on Amazon? If I buy, say, a dozen dildos, do I have advertisments for sex toys on the cover of my kindle for the next two weeks (or until I buy something else)
* Is Amazon going to pull a bezos on me? After two months reverting and saying "you know what, we are going to insert advertisements inside your e-book on second thought. You know, a bit like "an e-book on the kindle is just like a real book. Except that we can yank it from your shelf if we decide that's a good idea".

Re:Oh, the horror... (1)

Loosifur (954968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792840)

Mod parent up.

I sincerely hope that all of the people who recoil in horror at the idea of ad-bearing products don't own clothes, shoes, cars, or any other products that bear their manufacturer's logo prominently.

Discount is on the wrong version (1)

today (27810) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792448)

This discount is on the version that you have to hook to your computer in order to update. A single $25 discount seems inappropriate for this devices.

I would rather see a discount on the free-3G/wifi version of the unit. In this product, you get free 3G for life. An ad-supported model makes more sense because you continue to receive a service in exchange for continuing to receive ads. It would also allow them to update those ads more often.

The best solution would be to discount the reader a bit *and* discount each kindle book you buy, say maybe by 10%.

Re:Discount is on the wrong version (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792628)

Are you quite sure you can't download updates over the 802.11?

Also, wrong. The idea is to get people the cheapest e-reader possible to encourage uptake.

Re:Discount is on the wrong version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792838)

The best solution would be to discount the reader a bit *and* discount each kindle book you buy, say maybe by 10%.

Except they can't. The publishers have completely hamstrung [arstechnica.com] the sellers' abilities to adjust the price of eBooks.

Kindle Owner Speaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792458)

The fantastic thing about the Kindle is it just works and does nothing except display books... which is great if you read, read and don't care about anything else on the device. The idea that anyone spending over 100 on this device anyway for the sole purpose of reading (therefore someone who enjoys reading a *lot) will want to save $25 for the benefit of having their reading interrupted is ridiculous. I wouldn't even want my beloved Kindle for free if it was harassing me.

Reminds me of those stupid offers 10 years ago, free computer with ads forever... thankfully those companies went bankrupt. FAIL.

Re:Kindle Owner Speaking (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792574)

If you'd RTFA, it's not supposed to interrupt your reading. It'll show ads when the screensaver kicks in, and on the home screen.

I'd still not buy one of these - $25 isn't enough of a discount, even with the other stuff, and I've got a 3G K3 already - but it's not quite so bad as you'd like to pretend it is.

I wonder... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792504)

What would be interesting is determining how much advertisments cost to put on a kindle - how much Amazon takes from each 'click' (do people still pay for impressions?) and work out just how many times a user needs to react to an ad for Amazon to get its money worth.

It will be very popular (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792568)

I'd have bought one... given that I rooted mine 20min after taking it out of the box. This discount version would have saved me $25 I could have spend on a case. Oh wait, i hacked up an old pocket organizer and velcro'd the kindle in... I guess amazon just can't win with me.

how poor must you be? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792572)

Seriously a $25 savings for a life of ads? Fuck that shit.

Screensaver Replacement (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792596)

I wonder if this process [howtogeek.com] would eliminate the screensaver ads that amazon wants to load?

Only Kindle's First Step (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792636)

After they acquire enough significant sponsorship, I wouldn't be surprised to see it become free. Most of us may not desire that, because if you can afford $114 for an e-reader, you can probably afford $139. On the other hand, if you can't afford anything near that price, then ad consumption in return for a device could mean the difference between having and not having one at all. It would make it available to an entire range of people who may otherwise not be able to benefit from a device so many of us take for granted (whether or not we own or use them).

Of course, the real appeal for this will be that when it becomes free, it'll surely be given to every student in every public school and they'll receive a special stream of advertisements not only as currently described in the press release by Amazon, but on a more granular basis. I can just see students opening their textbook and hearing/seeing "Remember, this Earth Sciences textbook is brought to you by Monsanto Growth for a Better World! or a five and ten second pre-rolls for every test question.

Unnews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792770)

Soon? They had this on sale since sunday.

Can you root it? (1)

Halifax Samuels (1124719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792836)

If you can root the Kindle and remove the Ads then this may be worth it. If not, or if you don't want to, it'll have to go more than $25 off...

Really, Amazon will be making much more than $25 per Kindle over the life of the devices showing ads, so they should make the devices cheaper than that. It's not like they're going to be losing money.

The nature of advertising (1)

mariafernandez (1100255) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792928)

Unfortunately ads have a tendency to multiply as time goes by. How many ads will readers have to endure in, say, a year's time before they can turn the page?

No. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792944)

Sorry, ad supported for $25.00? get bent.

Free for add supported? then they will generate interest. Whoever though that a pittance discount = the value of the invasive advertising is nuts.

Can't be any worse than the standard screensvers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35792946)

Most of the current screensavers are ugly. I imagine ads would look better than the current screenssavers do, and get you it cheaper. Not much different from having ads in magazines on your coffee table at teh end of the day.

Does this make sense for advertisers? (1)

pilich (455704) | more than 3 years ago | (#35792964)

So basically, If you're the one buying these ads, you're targeting the people who were too cheap to pay the extra $25. Is this the best use of your advertising dollars, getting the demographic that doesn't like spending?

Still people will complain (3, Insightful)

pvera (250260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35793008)

When the original Kindle came out, people complained it was horribly expensive. Whenever Amazon released a new model and/or chopped the MSRP, people complained it was horribly expensive. When it went under $200 people bitched that there was no reason for it to sell for more than $150. When the Wifi model came out for $139 people complained that there was no reason for it to cost more than $100. Now the Wifi can be purchased for $114 and people are going to come up with any excuse to complain about the price, ads or both.

I am 100% convinced that even if Amazon gives it away just for the cost of shipping (free if you are on Prime), people will still bitch and moan about the stupid ads.

I have owned two Kindles (awesome, cludgy), two Kindle 2s (awesome, period) and currently two Kindle 3 Wifi (awesome, keyboard sucks). All of our previous Kindle devices were sold to friends for a reasonable price, and all of them are (that I know) still up and running today, and each and everyone loves them.

Both my wife and myself adore this device, for people like us that read a book or more per week these devices are extremely practical. The Wifi model uses so little power that it freaks me out whenever I realize that I actually need to charge it.

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