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.
The new perk, Prime Reading, lets Amazon Prime members access more than 1,000 e-books from best-selling authors at no extra charge, read a rotating selection of popular magazines, and read content from the company’s Kindle Singles library, including classic short stories and essays.
Prime reading is available on the Kindle app for iOS and Android, and on the company’s Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets. The new perk comes in addition to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which lets Prime members who own Amazon devices borrow one e-book a month from a larger selection of titles. Separate from a Prime membership, Amazon offers the $10/month Kindle Unlimited e-book subscription service.
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 of U.S. households.
Editor’s Note: Reference to Amazon’s Prime’s U.S. reach corrected since original post.