Using weapons of mass convenience, Amazon.com is continuing its assault on the concept of physical libraries, now with a reported new program planned that would let users rent books digitally much as Netflix users rent films.
Amazon has told publishers it is considering creating a digital-book library featuring older titles, people familiar with the talks said. The content would be available to customers of Amazon Prime, who currently pay the retailer $79 a year for unlimited two-day shipping and for access to a digital library of movies and TV shows.
The program appears to be slightly different from Amazon's Kindle Lending Program, which was announced in April, mainly because the payment system is based on an annual subscription instead of a per-rental fee.
The Journal reports, however, that publishers aren't fans of the idea, because they think it will lower the value of books and endanger their relationship with retailers--outcomes that would likely benefit Amazon.