Amazon To Sell Cheaper Kindle, But With On-Screen Ads

Apr 11, 2011
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Amazon is getting very creative in their strategies for pushing the Kindle e-reader in this competitive landscape where tablets are increasingly encroaching on their territory. The company announced that they will be offering a new Kindle option that saves consumers $25 off the lowest-priced Kindle in exchange for suffering some on-screen ads.

The online retailer announced that the new Kindle with Special Offers will cost $114. Compare that with the currently lowest priced Kindle and you'll see a savings of $25. But the catch is that this new Kindle will serve up on-screen ads at the bottom of your display and as screen savers. Initial advertising partners include General Motors, Procter & Gamble, and Olay.

The current Kindle models will continue to be sold, including a WiFi-only model for $139 and a WiFi plus 3G model for $189. If you are a confused consumer with all these options in e-readers and tablets to choose from, would you take the bait of $25 off in exchange for getting ads on your device? If you were already interested in getting a Kindle, does this new offer seal the deal or does it make no difference?

Press Release:

AMAZON INTRODUCES NEW KINDLE FAMILY MEMBER:

KINDLE WITH SPECIAL OFFERS FOR $114

$25 less for the same #1 bestselling latest-generation Kindle

plus special offers and sponsored screensavers

Special offers in the initial weeks include $10 for $20 Amazon.com Gift Card, $1 for an album in the Amazon MP3 Store, and a $100 Gift Card with a new Amazon Rewards Visa Card

Amazon also introduces "AdMash" – the new free Kindle app and website where customers vote for the most attractive sponsored screensavers

SEATTLE—April 11, 2011—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Millions of people are reading on Kindle, Kindle has more 5-star reviews than any other product on Amazon, and in just five months the latest-generation Kindle became the bestselling product in the 16-year history of Amazon.com. Today, Amazon introduced a new member of the Kindle family – Kindle with Special Offers for only $114. Kindle with Special Offers is the same #1 bestselling Kindle, plus special offers and sponsored screensavers. Kindle special offers and sponsored screensavers display on the Kindle screensaver and on the bottom of the home screen. Learn more about all three latest-generation Kindle family members—$114 Kindle with Special Offers, $139 Kindle, and $189 Kindle 3G—at www.amazon.com/kindle. Kindle with Special Offers is now available for pre-order to customers in the U.S. and will ship on May 3.

“We’re working hard to make sure that anyone who wants a Kindle can afford one,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Kindle with Special Offers is the same #1 bestselling Kindle – and it’s only $114. Kindle is the best deal in consumer electronics anywhere in the world.”

Buick, Olay (Procter & Gamble), Visa, and Amazon.com Reward Visa Card (Chase) are sponsoring the first series of screensavers specially-designed for Kindle’s high-contrast, no glare electronic ink display (for screensaver examples, visit www.amazon.com/aboutkindlespecialoffers). Examples of deals that will be delivered directly to Kindle with Special Offers devices in the initial weeks include:

$10 for $20 Amazon.com Gift Card
$6 for 6 Audible Books (normally $68)
$1 for an album in the Amazon MP3 Store (choose from over 1 million albums)
$10 for $30 of products in the Amazon Denim Shop or Amazon Swim Shop
Free $100 Amazon.com Gift Card when you get an Amazon Rewards Visa Card (normally $30)
Buy one of 30 Kindle bestsellers with your Visa card and get $10 Amazon.com credit
50% off Roku Streaming Player (normally $99)
To make sure customers don’t miss any of the offers, a full list of active offers will be available from the menu of Kindle with Special Offers at any time.

Amazon is also introducing “AdMash” – the free Kindle app and website where customers choose the most attractive and engaging display advertisements that will become Kindle sponsored screensavers. Kindle’s sponsored screensavers are specially-designed display advertisements that take advantage of Kindle’s high-contrast, no-glare electronic-ink display. Before these advertisements can be presented to Kindle customers, they are first previewed by customers using AdMash. Users are presented with pairs of sponsored screensaver candidates and asked to select which one they prefer. Screensavers with the most preferred votes qualify to become sponsored screensavers. The AdMash Kindle app will launch in the coming weeks – for a preview, visit www.amazon.com/aboutkindlespecialoffers.

In addition, Kindle with Special Offers customers can give Amazon hints on the style and types of sponsored screensavers they would like to see. From the Manage Your Kindle page on Amazon.com, customers can use Kindle Screensaver Preferences to indicate whether they like to see more or less screensavers that include elements such as landscapes and scenery, architecture, travel images, photography, and illustrations. Together, AdMash voting and Kindle Screensaver Preferences help Amazon present sponsored screensavers that customers find attractive and engaging. For screenshots of Kindle screensavers, AdMash and Kindle Screensaver Preferences, visit www.amazon.com/aboutkindlespecialoffers.

“The opportunity to offer custom-designed Kindle screensavers was a natural fit for Buick because Kindle is such a unique device surrounded by a community of intelligent, passionate people,” said Craig Bierley, Director of Advertising and Promotions, Buick. “Kindle’s high contrast e-ink display eliminates glare and is perfect for emotionally engaging and impactful brand imagery, allowing us to connect with Kindle readers wherever and whenever.”

Kindle with Special Offers includes all the same features that helped make the third-generation Kindle the #1 bestselling product in the history of Amazon.com:

Paper-like Pearl electronic-ink display, no glare even in bright sunlight
8.5 ounce body for hours of comfortable reading with one hand
Up to one month of battery life with wireless off eliminates battery anxiety
Kindle Store with over 900,000 books – largest selection of the most popular books
Seamless integration with free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Android-based devices

Learn more about all three latest-generation Kindle family members—$114 Kindle with Special Offers, $139 Kindle, and $189 Kindle 3G—at www.amazon.com/kindle. Advertisers and agencies interested in learning more about Kindle sponsorship opportunities can contact kindle-sponsorships@amazon.com.


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