I foresee three things coming from this:
- Whether they buy into Amazon’s proposal or not, publishers will be spurred to take a harder look at their existing catalogs and figure out how they can make them available digitally. This could be through sales or subscription, through Amazon or some other portal.
- Whether it can convince major publishers on the right price or not, Amazon will find some way to make inexpensive, high-quality reading content available for free to every Amazon Prime subscriber and everyone who buys one of its new tablets. This, plus the video catalog, will become one of the major selling points of the device and differentiate it from Apple, Google or Barnes & Noble.
- We will all be forced to endure so many hackneyed “Netflix for books? I thought that was called the library!” jokes that it will make our brains melt and our eyes bleed.