Amazon today introduced Prime Reading, a new reading benefit for U.S. Prime members. Prime members can now enjoy unlimited reading from a rotating selection of books, magazines, comics and more – at no additional cost.
[Our emphasis] No Kindle device required – enjoy using the free Kindle apps for iOS and Android as well as from any Kindle or Fire tablet.
Prime Reading features include:
Over a thousand popular books: Enjoy a diverse selection of titles including Red Sparrow, The Butterfly Garden, The 5 Love Languages, The Atlantis Gene, Lonely Planet travel guides and books from best-selling authors Brad Thor, Barry Eisler, Stephen Covey, James Altucher, Rachel Abbott and more.
Premium Magazines: Stay on top of current trends with a rotating selection of fresh, full issues of top magazines covering sports, technology, cooking and home improvement, current affairs, notable people and more. Titles include Bon Appétit, National Geographic Traveler, People, Sports Illustrated, HGTV, Popular Mechanics, Golf Digest, Runner’s World and more.
Exclusive short content: Read Kindle Singles Classics– classic short-form reads by the world’s top writers, from Susan Orlean to Norman Mailer. Also read from hundreds of Kindle Singles – short stories, memoirs and essays from a variety of top writers.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said earlier this year that the company’s goal is to make the benefits of its $99/year Amazon Prime program so numerous and valuable that it’s irresponsible not to be a member. This morning, the company drove home the point by releasing its third new Prime benefit in less than a month, this one revisiting the company’s roots in reading.
On Sept. 13, the company made its Audible Channels audio subscription service available as part of Amazon Prime, and last week the company added game benefits with a new set of “Twitch Prime” perks. Amazon doesn’t disclose the number of Prime members, but analysts estimate it’s in the range of 50 million to 60 million people, approaching or surpassing half the U.S. population.
There were already some perks for readers in the Prime program, such as “Kindle First,” which lets members pick one free book a month among six featured works, and a lending library for Kindle users.
How Many Amazon Prime Subscribers in the U.S.?
Amazon.com does not provide Prime subscriber numbers but Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) estimates the total at 63 million (U.S. subscribers) as of June 30, 2016. CIRP also estimates, “that in the US, 52% of Amazon customers are Prime members, the first quarter where a majority of US Amazon customers were Prime members.”