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