Is Kindle Unlimited worth the cost?
Last Friday Amazon unveiled Kindle Unlimited, a service that grants all-you-can-read access to a library of 600,000 titles at a cost of $9.99 per month. It's similar to what Oyster and Scribd already offer, though their respective libraries are 500,000 and 400,000 titles deep, with Scribd going a dollar less per month than the other two. Unlike the other two, Kindle Unlimited is also available on your Kindle device, while Oyster and Scribd are limited to tablets and phones. Kindle Unlimited also includes audiobooks in the package.
It seems like a great deal, similar to the all-you-can-watch arrangements of Netflix and other streaming video services. Except that I can binge watch an entire season of House of Cards over a weekend if I choose to and the monthly subscription cost is cheaper than buying the entire season outright. The same can't be said for ebooks -- I can read maybe two or three full-length novels a month. When you consider that many ebooks are available for $2.99 or less, the numbers just don't work out in my favor. It's better for me to just buy the books I want to read, or even borrow them from the library. That way I have access to a larger selection than the 600,000 Amazon has available (many of the titles in Kindle Unlimited are public domain or self-published books anyway) and, if I go the library route, I don't have to pay a dime. Last night I downloaded a library book straight to my Kindle Paperwhite.
If the cost came down and the selection increased, I might give Kindle Unlimited a second look. But right now, it's competing for my time with options that offer a fire hose of options at much lower prices.
How many books do you read a month? And how many of them are available via Kindle Unlimited? What would they have to charge to make this a program you want to sign up for?
To me, it's like Netflix. I'll sign up for a month then binge watch what I want and then quit. Amazon Prime is a better option for video content, especially HBO.