Amazon to sell cheaper, ad-supported Kindle

Amazon to sell cheaper, ad-supported Kindle

The adverts currently only appear on the home screen or in a screensaver.

Amazon has today taken the wraps off a new, ad-supported version of its popular Kindle eBook reader, which is set to retail at $25 less than its non ad-supported cousin in the US.

The ‘Kindle with 'Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers'’ will go on sale from 3 May and is identical, hardware-wise, to the current WiFi-only version of the Kindle.

Amazon has revealed that the ads will only be displayed in a small band along the bottom of the home screen and on the screensaver page, and there are no current plans to implement in-book advertising.

The move is aimed at making the Kindle more accessible to those who previously couldn’t afford one of the devices. Amazon CEO Jeff Bazos stated that the company was ‘working hard to make sure anyone who wants a Kindle can afford one.

In an interesting move, Amazon has also announced the AdMash website and application, which effectively enables Kindle users to vote for their favourite ‘sponsored’ screensavers. This, Amazon claims, should enable the company to figure out what kinds of ads people are happy to see on their Kindles, and hopefully avoid many of the negative effects of gratuitous advertising.

The new Kindle will only initially be available in the US, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar idea introduced to these shores in the near future if the new product proves to be a hit.

Do you currently have a Kindle? Would you be prepared to put up with ads for a $25 discount on your eBook reader? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
Goty 12th April 2011, 11:15 Quote
Yeah, they're going to need to give me a bigger discount than that to make me put up with ads....
MaverickWill 12th April 2011, 11:16 Quote
Buy cheap ad-supported Wifi Kindle.
Flash with normal Kindle firmware.
kylew 12th April 2011, 11:18 Quote
I wonder how long it'll take before standard firmwares ome out for this this making it in to a "standard" Kindle, if they truly are idential hardware wise? Even if it wasn't identical, I can't see it mattering too much anyway.
gilljoy 12th April 2011, 11:22 Quote
I'd like a kindle, but for that amount of money I could buy a lot of normal books
SMIFFYDUDE 12th April 2011, 11:24 Quote
You would soon be cursing yourself for not spending the tiny amount extra for the annoyance free version if you went for this.
M7ck 12th April 2011, 11:30 Quote
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
You would soon be cursing yourself for not spending the tiny amount extra for the annoyance free version if you went for this.

I agree with this, for the sake of 25 bucks you would be best going for the ad free version.
Flibblebot 12th April 2011, 12:06 Quote
I can't see $25 making much of a difference to sales, tbh.

PS: It's Bezos not Bazos, btw.
Threefiguremini 12th April 2011, 12:18 Quote
Ad free is worth much more to me than £15.
Paradigm Shifter 12th April 2011, 12:25 Quote
Originally Posted by Threefiguremini
Ad free is worth much more to me than £15.

chrismarkham1982 12th April 2011, 12:29 Quote
while i agree that a bigger discount is needed i dont really see the problem if ads will be small and besides as long as there are no ads within the ebooks then surely its not much of hindrence
ET3D 12th April 2011, 12:48 Quote
$25 off $139 is $114, and I think $99 would have been a much more convincing price point. Still, $25 is a bit of money, and I would go for this if I wanted to buy a Kindle. From the description of the ads they sound like they won't interfere with the core reading experience, so I don't see why people would pay another $25 for the ad-free version.
Xir 12th April 2011, 12:56 Quote
How about the standart wikipedia connection for europe...that'd boost sales
Stuey 12th April 2011, 13:12 Quote
They wouldn't have released this if there weren't scores of people willing to put up with the ads. A $25 savings is about an 18% discount, nothing to sneeze at. That said, I'd be more inclined to purchase the regular wi-fi version.
azazel1024 12th April 2011, 14:14 Quote
Yup, I'll pay the $25 premium, and plan on it soon. Birthday is coming up later next month and I planning on making a Kindle my birthday present. I think the $25 discount is just because they know people are going to make an end run around the ads at some point soon.

I do wonder if the way it is set up on Amazon's side is if they see the MAC/Serial connecting to them on an ad supported kindle that they'll either push down ads or disallow it if they see the firmware changes to a non-ad version. Do you feel me?

Anyway, makes me wonder how they'll "lock in the ads".

$139 for an ad free one is just fine for me, thanks.

I am sure Amazon will sell at least a few. If the only difference is the firmware and maybe a bit of software on Amazon's side to support/enforce it...doesn't sound like they can go wrong. Well, unless it generates a lot of negative press/feelings. Otherwise even if they only sell 1 in 50 as ad supported they can probably generate enough revenue over whatever period of time to make it pay for them.
Guinevere 12th April 2011, 15:04 Quote
I'd never buy an ad supported product, isn't there a TV that displays ads on the TV guide pages.

On free stuff like web sites (Hello Dennis) yeah ads are a necessity, but on my own hardware? No way!

And I bet they'll be feeding ads based on what you're reading, or is in your library.
javaman 12th April 2011, 16:09 Quote
That's nice, now drop the price back to where it was pre christmas on both models and we'll talk
HourBeforeDawn 12th April 2011, 17:17 Quote
ad support for saving only $25 no thank you, at a minimum it would have to be $50 or more to even be partially worth wild.
do_it_anyway 12th April 2011, 18:28 Quote
I own a kindle. Based on how they say the advertising is done I see no problem at all.
Personally I got the 3G version which isn't mentioned, so I would've ended up going for the full-fat version anyway. But if I was buying a second (which I'm considering - if you own 2 and link them to the same account, both have the same books on - useful for if your wife wants to read the book you've just read), I would get this one.
The ads really won't interfere with your enjoyment.
When you buy custom PC, do the ads bother you that much? You just don't read them. Would you pay a pound more for a non-ad version of custom PC? I wouldn't.
Good idea IMHO
jimmyjj 12th April 2011, 19:18 Quote
They should f**king pay you for the privilege of beaming adds to your book.

Imagine reading an actual paper book and some w**ker kept coming up to and trying to sell you something.

And they want YOU to pay THEM for this bullsh*t.

Speed 12th April 2011, 19:20 Quote
Originally Posted by jimmyjj
They should f**king pay you for the privilege of beaming adds to your book.

Imagine reading an actual paper book and some w**ker kept coming up to and trying to sell you something.

And they want YOU to pay THEM for this bullsh*t.


Calm down dear... its only a kindle! ;)
Sloth 12th April 2011, 19:27 Quote
Similar sentiments to previous posters: not enough savings to warrant it. You can save $25 by going out to eat less for a week. Compare that to having ads, even small ones, for the rest of your Kindle ownership.
Turbotab 12th April 2011, 21:04 Quote
I'd go for it, it's only on the home screen & screensaver. As said before, should be able to flash the firmware anyway. My biggest fear would be an advert for Senokot or Tena Lady popping up at the wrong time:)
DragunovHUN 12th April 2011, 21:13 Quote
Offer discount on hardware, rake in ad revenue, keep it all optional. Everyone's happy.

Good move, Amazon.
Puzzu 12th April 2011, 23:38 Quote
Same here it needs to be a bigger discount for the free adverts....
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