There has been a lot of mixed reactions toward Amazon putting advertisements on Kindle, especially when it was first launched in 2011. Today I wish to bring this issue back into the spotlight and invite you to re-examine it together.
Jamie Lending takes a quite strong stance and describes Amazon Kindle Special Offers as a disgrace. “Unobtrusive” and “never in your reading experience”, says an Amazon spokesman in response to Lending’s complaint, but many readers still find the ad-free version irresistible despite the fact that they have to pay extra 30USD. While Amazon frames it as a Kindle user’s choice, Lending argues that the company takes away the “ultimate control” over ad exposure.
Kevin C. Tofel, in his article Ads on Kindle Fire HD tablets: Bad news or just business?, presents argument from both sides and comments that the subsidy of being able to control “is financial in nature”. Tofel’s opinion differs from Lending in the sense that he believes readers still retain some choice.
Is this really a question of whether consumers are willing to pay or whether they can afford it? And what exactly does it mean to publishers and authors?
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