Would Amazon Offer Up Free eBooks With Advertising?

from the and-does-that-deserve-a-patent? dept

A bunch of folks have sent in a MediaPost story about a recently granted patent and some patent applications by Amazon that suggest the company is at least considering offering free ebooks with contextual advertising mixed in or possibly the ability to get a free ebook with the purchase of a physical book. To be honest, the idea doesn’t seem all that surprising — and ebooks supported by ads is something that’s been talked about for ages (after all, once it’s digital, it’s effectively the same thing as a web page anyway, right?). So I’m a bit confused as to the reason for a patent. The basic process doesn’t just seem obvious, but with tons of prior art, unless you suddenly want to pretend that an ebook is somehow different than any other digital file.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: amazon

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Would Amazon Offer Up Free eBooks With Advertising?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Griff (profile) says:

Offline is the key

People rarely view web pages offline.
Though ads might keep changing while you’re online, so there is a limit to how many you can show.

On a Kindle you could throw a load of ads that suit this user (from his/her profile so far) onto the Kindle when they are online and then slowly work through them during the reading experience, even if the user is offline. No particular hurry. Not all ads require a click through (ie brand building), and “add it to my Amazon wishlist ” might be as good as a clickthrough for a gadget ad.

Maybe even some clever context sensitive ones based on what has just been read. (The characters in the book drink coffee, and lo !, an ad for a nearby Starbucks pops up while your mind is on coffee, the characters see their house burnt down, an S3 ad for backing up your data appears). This might necessitate some sort of file format for linking key events in an ebook text to ads that are attached to it at download OR some realtime parsing of the book on the device itself to determine if a good ad opportunity arises.

And of course ads for the author’s other stuff.

Personally I’d find it a bit of a turnoff but if it got me my fave book for free I might put up with it.

Could end up like adwords.
Could destroy the last place in the world where you are free of all these annoyances (ie lost in a book).

I recall MS had a patent for pushing ads to the OS a few years back. It hasn’t actually materialised as a reality, has it ? Though the Real Message Center shows just what a PITA it could be.

Osno (profile) says:

Free ebooks when you buy a book? Who would have thought of that??

But seriously, when Amazon first created the “digital library” I assumed I’ll have a full Amazon Preview on the books I bought. Since books take so long to get here, I thought it would be cool to have such a feature. Here’s to hoping that this is simply Amazon telling us what they’re intending to do instead of an actual real patent (which will be more than absurd), and hoping that they’re actually considering the service I always thought they should have.

Jeff Dierking (profile) says:

Ads? No thanks!

I am all for getting free content, but the last place I want to deal with ads is in my reading.

I bought a Kindle a couple of months ago and I love it. I would likely not make use of a free/reduced price catalog if it meant ads were going to interrupt the flow of the book I am reading.

I would like to see Amazon implement a policy whereby purchase of a hardcover book qualified for a reduced price Kindle version. I own a few dozen hardcover books of authors I enjoy. However, a first read of any book for me entails carrying it with me to work, on the bus, etc. A hardback just is not suited to that. However, a re-read is something, at times, done more leisurely. When I contacted Amazon asking about reduced Kindle versions with purchase of a hardcover, I was told that was not an option.

We’ll see where this goes.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...