In its continued attempts to win the Iron Throne of Booklandia, Amazon has formally announced their ebook and audiobook subscription service, Kindle Unlimited. Rumors of the service had been swirling for the past couple of weeks, and the service officially launched this morning.
For $9.99 a month, Kindle users can access 600,000 Kindle ebooks and over 2,000 audiobooks from Amazon’s Audible service. Kindle Unlimited subscribers will be able to access up to 10 books at a time. Titles offered include The Hunger Games series, Tolkein’s classic The Lord of the Rings trilogy and other contemporary bestsellers. However, titles from the "Big Five" (Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, Macmillan and Hachette) are not included, not a big surprise given the current dispute between Amazon and Hachette.
While the service is currently only available to U.S. residents, those eligible will have the option of signing up for a free 30-day trial and a free 90-day audiobook trial. Additionally, readers do not need a Kindle device to use the service. Readers can continue using devices that support Kindle's free reading apps, including tablets and mobile phones.
Amazon’s not the first to offer a book subscription service, though. Entitle and Oyster Books have already been up and running for a while now, but with such a wide reach and consumer base, Kindle Unlimited is sure to make a splash.