電子書籍無双を続けるアマゾンがまた新しいサービス、Kindle Owners' Lending Library を発表しました。Kindle 向けの電子書籍レンタルで、最大で月に一度まで、書籍を選んで「借りて」読むことができます。「返却」期限はなく、新しい書籍を借りるときに、レンタル中の書籍が返されるしくみ。つまり、一度に借りられる本は1冊までということになります。通常の Kindle 本と同様、レンタル中の書籍に対してもノートやブックマーク、ハイライトなどをつけることが可能。後に同じ書籍を購入したり、再度レンタルしたときには、ちゃんとそうしたデータが引き継がれます。

レンタル対象として選べる書籍は数千タイトルで、Kindle のコンテンツ資産に比べればまだまだ小規模なところからスタート。それでも誰も読んだことのない本ばかりということはなく、ちゃんと現在の、あるいはかつての New York Times ベストセラーが 100 冊以上含まれています。

この野心的な Kindle Owners' Lending Library は、アマゾンの有料会員システム Amazon Prime 向け新特典という位置付け。年間79ドルで、お急ぎ配送、無料配送の最低価格撤廃、映画やテレビ番組の無制限ストリーミング......といったこれまでの特典とあわせて利用できます。有料会員を増やしたい、囲いこみたい、というアマゾンの意思がはっきり感じられる仕組みと言えそう。基本送料無料になって価値が半減した日本の Amazon プライムにも、そろそろなにか新しい特典が欲しいところです。

Introducing The Kindle Owners' Lending Library
With an Amazon Prime membership, Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free -- including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers -- as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates


SEATTLE, Nov 02, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- --Books can be borrowed and read on all Kindle E Ink devices and Kindle Fire

Today, Amazon.com, Inc. announced the launch of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. With an Amazon Prime membership, Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free -- including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers -- as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates. No other e-reader or ebookstore offers such a service. With an annual Prime membership, the Kindle Owners' Lending Library is included at no additional cost. Millions of Prime members enjoy free two-day shipping, unlimited streaming of nearly 13,000 movies and TV shows, and now thousands of books to borrow for free with a Kindle.

"Owning a Kindle just got even better. Today, we're introducing a new Prime benefit built for Kindle: The Kindle Owners' Lending Library," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "Prime Members now have exclusive access to a huge library of books to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates."

The Kindle Owners' Lending Library offers access to a wide array of categories and genres in fiction and non-fiction, and includes popular titles such as Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, The Big Short and Liars' Poker by Michael Lewis, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen --plus award-winning books such as The Finkler Question and Guns, Germs, and Steel, memoirs such as Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential , and motivational books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Just as with any other Kindle book, your notes, highlights and bookmarks in borrowed books will be saved, so you'll have them later if you purchase or re-borrow the book. Books are borrowed from a Kindle device, and customers can have one book out at a time. When customers want to borrow a new book, any borrowed book can easily be returned right from their device.

Titles in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library come from a range of publishers under a variety of terms. For the vast majority of titles, Amazon has reached agreement with publishers to include titles for a fixed fee. In some cases, Amazon is purchasing a title each time it is borrowed by a reader under standard wholesale terms as a no-risk trial to demonstrate to publishers the incremental growth and revenue opportunity that this new service presents.

"The Kindle Owners' Lending Library is a great new benefit for Kindle owners and an entirely new growth opportunity for authors and publishers," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Kindle Content. "With the growth in Prime membership and the recent addition of Prime Instant Video, we've been able to broaden our relationships with movie and TV studios such as CBS, Fox, and NBCUniversal and significantly increase their revenue. We're excited to expand that investment to books -- with this launch, we expect three immediate results: Kindle owners will read even more, publisher revenues will grow, and authors will see larger royalty checks."

"We're excited to offer titles from our ebook 'Chapters' series, which covers some of the world's most popular destinations, to members of Kindle Owners' Lending Library," says John Boris, EVP Lonely Planet. "Our ebooks have done incredibly well on Kindle and this is a great way to showcase our travel expertise to an even broader audience."

"We're excited about any program that helps readers discover our authors and their books," said David Nussbaum, Chief Executive and Chairman of F+W Media Inc. "We think this will lead to more people reading F+W's books, and more profit for our authors."

To learn more about the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, visit www.amazon.com/kindleownerslendinglibrary . To learn about all of the additional benefits included with Amazon Prime, or to start an Amazon Prime free trial visit www.amazon.com/prime .

SOURCE: Amazon.com, Inc.