Jul 6 2009
Amazon has filed for another patent to insert advertisements into ebooks and print on demand books. The patent is 21 pages long and has a number of descriptions about how the advertisements will be inserted including in the margins and in full pages throughout the book.
The consumer will be offered the choice of paying full price for the book or accepting ads to reduce the price of the book.
The ads will be based on both the content of the book, metadata for the book, and user profile information that is either freely given by the user or mined from the users’ past purchases.
For example, if the customer has a history of interest in travel as indicated by the associated user profile, the advertisement component may include, in the printed content, advertisements related to travel, even though such advertisement may not be directly relevant to the requested content.
Depending on the agreement with publishers, Amazon could conceivably roll out advertising for ebooks right away with POD ad supported books coming soon. Still to be resolved would be whether publishers and content creators a) have any right to control the ads (to some degree it seems that they would not) and b) whether they would be entitled to any ad revenue (off hand, again, I’m thinking that content creators would not be entitled to ad revenue so long as Amazon met its payment obligations such as remitting 30%-40% of the retail cost of the product to the publisher no matter for what price Amazon sells the product).
The danger to consumers is that books will begin to be priced in such a way as to force readers to buy the ad supported books else incur a premium cost.