Amazon Unveils Kindle Subscription

Amazon now offers an e-book subscription service.  It’s the latest and largest company to do so.  It’s called Kindle Unlimited.  You pay a monthly fee for access to over a half-million digital and audio books.

Of course that’s only a small amount compared to all the Kindle books for sale on Amazon’s online store.  Amazon is promoting Kindle Unlimited with a 30-day free trial.

But it’s not the only game in town.  Rivals Scribd and Oyster offer the e-book subscriptions as well.  Here’s a look at how the three compare in terms of price, selection and limits.

PRICE: Kindle costs $9.99 a month, while Oyster costs $9.95 and Scribd $8.99. All three offer the first month free.

SELECTION: Kindle has the largest number of titles, with more than 600,000, compared with Oyster’s 500,000 and Scribd’s 400,000. However, only Oyster and Scribd have books from two of the largest publishers, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.

LIMITS: You can read as many books as you want, but you can have only a certain number of titles downloaded at a time. For Kindle, it’s 10 per account. You have to “return” a book to get the 11th. Oyster allows 10 per device and Scribd allows 20 per device. With all three, you can read a book on up to six different devices.

Kindle is alone in offering free audiobooks as part of the subscription, with a selection of 2,000 from Amazon’s Audible business. Subscribers also get a three-month trial to Audible, which offers one book a month from a larger library.  All three work on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.  Scribd and Kindle also work on personal computers.

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