As with most institutions there is a sort of library-culture attached to the patrons and employees. Thanks to Amazon’s new business proposals this culture is in risk of disappearing all together.
It’s no secret, the publishing industry is struggling. You can’t even mention a newspaper with hearing somebody bark, “Print is DEAD!” Along with industry struggles, those business built around print are struggling as well; we’re talking about libraries and book stores.
Amazon Rumored to Release A Netflix-like Service
Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon is working on a service that allows book rental for digital content. So far, the tech-giant has been propositioning publishers to buy into this untitled service.
Publishers are not having it. Already, in a struggling industry, many view this as the straw that would break the book back. Poorly worded metaphors aside, many publishing executives have made it clear they are not into this idea, making the success of the plan questionable.
It is important to note that the service would only rent out digital reading materials, for an annual fee. Customers would have access to digital library of all the content offered by the service — provided that publishers sign up.
According to publishers who have spoken to the Wall Street Journal, this service will be offered for Amazon Prime customers, who already have the ability to access movies and TV shows. These customers currently pay $79 a year for their unlimited shipping and access.
The Future of Book Retailers and Libraries
In January, bookstore behemoth Borders publicly refinanced millions of dollars of debt, and announced plans to restructure its business model and include a more aggressive plan to offer Borders Rewards Plus.
Borders finally succumbed to its struggles and filed for bankruptcy in mid-February.
Everyone knows what happened to Blockbuster once the popularity of Netflix picked up and now the same fate faces libraries and other bookstores. One thing that they still have on their side: physical books. Although the amount of individuals who choose to read books via digital methods is ever-increasing, there is still a large percentage of the population that is steadfast on reading from actual books.
Amazon may have not confirmed rumors of this service being launched, but it is pretty clear that it is a lucrative and novel (no pun intended) space to enter. The question is, how hard will those late adapters, anti-kindle readers and publishers willing to fight against it.