updated 03:15 pm EDT, Mon September 12, 2011
Amazon pushes for similar terms to Apple on tablet
Amazon is trying to get magazine and newspaper deals for its Android-based Kindle tablet similar to those Apple has for the iPad, insiders uncovered on Monday. The company is "in the same ballpark" of asking for a 30 percent piece of revenues for both individual issues and full-length subscriptions. Amazon may, however, be willing to give a better deal to lure publishers away from the iPad, the WSJ heard.
Not yet visible is whether or not Amazon is willing to hand over customers' personal information for the sake of ad and demographic tracking. Publishers complained early on, but outside of few exceptions, multiple key majors have agreed to greater privacy and can only base their data on voluntary information, which has been much more commonplace than expected.
Tips just this weekend had pointed to Amazon contemplating subscription book access and thus that Amazon is looking to fill its tablet with as much content as possible before it unveils within just weeks. Many attribute Apple's success with the iPad to having a large, ready-made pool of apps, books, music, and videos available where Android and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets have gone without much of this even months later.
Getting better deals than Apple may be difficult. Both Amazon and Apple are known to have "most favored nation" terms for literature, where it can't run below a certain price on rival stores. Amazon might have to persuade publishers that it's worth leaving the iPad or else to have them push for better terms with Apple.
The Kindle tablet at a minimum is expected to get support for the Amazon Appstore, regular Kindle subscriptions, and Instant Video streaming. Many are concerned about its viability, however, as it could ship using a heavily customized Android 2.1 and limit the numbers of apps and features. Amazon is expected to mostly count on pricing, which at $250 would compete with the Nook Color and insert a gap between its tablet and the iPad.