Amazon to sell ad-supported Kindle

Customers can save $25 if they tolerate screensaver advertisments

Nicole Kobie
12 Apr 2011

Amazon has unveiled an ad-supported version of the Kindle eBook reader, knocking $25 off the price.

From 3 May, Amazon will sell a "Kindle with Special Offers" for $114. It will be exactly like a regular Wi-Fi Kindle, except Amazon will run ads on the screensaver page and along the bottom of the home screen - but not inside books.

"We're working hard to make sure that anyone who wants a Kindle can afford one," said Jeff Bezos, CEO.

The first companies to buy screensaver ads are Buick, Olay and Visa.

Alongside the more standard advertisements, Amazon will also list "special offers" such as a half-price Amazon gift card, discounted MP3 albums, and free books.

Amazon also announced AdMash, an application and website that lets Kindle users vote on their favourite "sponsored" screensavers, to let the company figure out what sorts of images users are happy to see on their e-ink screens.

Amazon is pushing for another revenue stream at a time when the Kindle is already a big success, outselling new paperbacks on the retail site and helping drive sales to $13 billion last quarter.

The ad-supported Kindle will initially only be available in the US. A spokeswoman said the offer would not be extended to the UK, but wouldn't say if that may or may not happen in the future.

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