Prime Reading is almost a warm-up to Kindle Unlimited, Amazon's monthly reading service that provides access to millions of ebooks.
It is no secret that India is one of Amazon’s biggest markets for Prime - its annual subscription-based customer programme. After all, Jeff Bezos said so. In fact, India is the fastest-growing market too. In 2017, Prime added more subscribers in India than in any other market.
To make the most of its wide audience base here, Amazon has now rolled out its Prime Reading service. This is in addition to existing Prime shopping benefits, Prime Video and Prime Music offered to customers in India.
Prime Reading brings nearly 900 ebooks from the Kindle library to Prime subscribers at no additional cost. However, it is to be noted that this is different from Kindle Unlimited - Amazon’s existing monthly Kindle plan (priced at Rs 150) that provides access to millions of ebook titles.
In Prime Reading, Amazon’s focus is largely on popular Indian writing across categories - fiction, non-fiction, drama, romance, thrillers, comics, graphic novels, and more. The service can be availed on Kindle and Kindle Lite apps as well as on Kindle Cloud Reader over the web.
In a statement to the media, Rajiv Mehta, Country Manager, Kindle India, said,
“Prime Reading builds the habit of reading. Prime members can now read their favourite titles by conveniently downloading and reading ebooks within minutes. They can discover and read new and bestselling titles from a variety of authors at no additional cost. Ebooks under Prime Reading include all genres like Literature & Fiction, Travel, and Romance.”
Prime Reading, though a different service, comes with the standard Kindle features include Search, Dictionary, Highlights, Whispersync, etc. Users can also review titles on it. In additional to English ebooks, titles in Hindi, Marathi, and Tamil have also been included in the service.
Akshay Sahi, Director and Head of Prime, Amazon India, stated,
“Amazon Prime already offers members great value with free, fast delivery, streaming of movies, TV series, music and lots more. Prime Reading is yet another offering for Prime members to help make their everyday life better and more fun.”
Prime Reading is clearly aimed at widening readership of Kindle titles. This provides users free access to a bunch of ebooks for which they would earlier either pay individually or avail through a Kindle subscription. This not only brings in a new set of readers into the Kindle ecosystem, but also gives Amazon a chance to convert them into paying subscribers going ahead.