Since last fall, there have been two ebook subscription services to launch - Scribd and Oyster
. Unfortunately for those services, it looks like there may soon be some major competition from a very likely source. There has been evidence leaked that Amazon might soon announce its own ebook subscription service called Kindle Unlimited.
GigaOM was tipped off to some test pages, which have since been pulled, that reference Kindle Unlimited. The service from Amazon would be bad news for smaller companies like Scribd and Oyster, not only because Amazon wields a lot of power in the market and easily wins on brand awareness. Beyond that, Amazon is planning to offer both ebooks and audiobooks in the Kindle Unlimited plan, thanks to Amazon's ownership of Audible. The leaked pages claimed access to "over 600,000 [ebook] titles and thousands of audiobooks" for $9.99 per month. For comparison, Oyster offers "over 500,000" books for $9.95, while Scribd has "over 400,000" books for $8.99. That would mean Kindle Unlimited would be the best deal. However, Amazon has not yet finished making deals with the "big five" publishers, and given the fight between Amazon and Hachette, we wouldn't expect all five to come on board.
It seems inevitable that Amazon will launch an ebook subscription service, and when it does, it will mean Amazon has subscription services for movies, TV, music, and books. Right now, movies, TV, and music are all included with the Amazon Prime service, but as yet there is no indication that Kindle Unlimited would be included as well. But, if it is, it would make the free year of Prime that comes with a Fire Phone an impressive incentive for media junkies. Although, given that it doesn't follow the naming of Prime Video and Prime Music, that may not happen.