Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cheaper Kindle with Ads?

Amazon made a rather mundane announcement about a "cheaper" version of the Kindle that comes with advertisement feeds. They also followed that up by posting in various places (like Facebook) and asking what readers think of the idea.  So far, every single response has been negative.  People screaming (in writing actually) "No! NO! NO!" and things of that sort.

But hold on.

I have a Kindle.  I love it.  I have the Wi-Fi version, not the 3G, so I have to be in a "hot spot" to download or shop.  Not a big deal.  It works perfectly for my needs.  No complaints.  I spent $138.00 USD at the time on it.

Keep in mind that the Kindle has an automatic screen saver to save battery power.  It's not dynamic or animated.  It's a static artistic rendering of a semi-random famous author.  There are about six or so, by default.

If that were replaced with an advertisement: WHY WOULD YOU CARE?!?  Does anyone sit and really stare at the screen saver and get entertainment value from it?  If it showed the current date, time and outdoor temperature, would that be offensive too?

I know this is purely speculative and fictional, but hear me out for a second, please…

If Amazon offered the 3G version for $130 ($8 cheaper than the wi-fi only model) by putting rotating ads in place of the screen saver, would that be a bad thing?  Would it interfere with your reading capabilities?  No.  Would it save you money?  Yes.  Is saving money a bad thing?  No.  Unless you're filthy rich or filthy stupid (or both).

Now, I know Amazon probably has different ideas of where to place the ads and how they will be interjected into the overal experience.  My purported example was just to provide a third option.  One that at least makes you pause your knee jerk before your knee cap hits you in the jaw.  Everyone is so Pavlovian about things like this.  Say the word "ads" and everyone goes "No!!!!".  But there's ads in everything all around you all the ****ing time as it is.  And NONE of those come with an option to REDUCE the price of the vehicle upon which it is delivered.

Did cable TV reduce the subscription price when they caved in and started running ads?  NO. Do you even remember when cable TV sold itself on the appeal of no ads?  Then it became "few ads" and today it's just a free-for-all.

Did Facebook offer you some monetary savings when they shoved ads in your face? No.

Did the city reduce your tax bill when billboards went up?  No.

Do your school milk cartons cost less with the ads printed on the back?  No.

So, Amazon asks (remember - NOT DEMANDS, BUT ASKS) if you'd like to get a cheaper product if they put ads into it, and the reaction is as if they were asking everyone to forgive Bin Laden.

Lighten up folks.  Think for a change.  Stop knee-jerking.

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