Los Angeles Times now on Amazon's Kindle
We've been Kindled! You can now subscribe to the electronic edition of the L.A. Times and download it wirelessly each day to Amazon.com's e-book reader.
The Times joins 19 other papers -- including the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal -- now available on the Kindle, which receives and displays books, blogs, magazines and newspapers. The L.A. Times will cost $9.99 a month. Other monthly e-newspaper subscriptions run from $5.99 -- for Amazon's hometown paper, the Seattle Times -- to $14.99 for Le Monde. Amazon also offers more than 135,000 books.
So, is this going to cure the newspaper industry's business problems? Probably not -- some analysts are skeptical that consumers will cough up money for material that they can get, at no charge, on the iPhone, BlackBerry and other Web-enabled mobile devices. "Businesses that have attempted to charge for content have met with a lot of resistance," said Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets. "It's a limited market for people who will pay for content that they can view for free elsewhere."
Amazon has been circumspect on how much revenue it generates from e-books, compared with the dead-tree versions that it's become the master of selling. The company also has not disclosed how many Kindles it has sold. Analysts have pegged that figure to be anywhere between 250,000 and 330,000 since the device hit the market in November, based on an article in Digitimes quoting production estimates from a Taiwanese screen manufacturer (the article is available only to paying subscribers, but is quoted in this blog post by Tim O'Reilly).
Whatever the figure, sales have been robust enough for Amazon to lower its price for the e-book by $40 to $359 in May, thanks to high production volume.
Now if only the Kindle could make a cup of coffee to go with that morning paper.
-- Alex Pham
Photo courtesy of the L.A. Times