Unlikely Rumor: Amazon to Offer Ads on Kindle Fire

Ad Age reported on a delicious rumor yesterday, but I’m having trouble believing it.

Amazon is pitching ads on the device’s welcome screen, according to an executive at an agency that Amazon has pitched. The company has been telling ad agency execs that they must spend about $600,000 for any package that includes such an ad.

Here’s my question: If Amazon really wanted to offer ads on the KF then why didn’t they launch the ad supported KF back in November? 

That’s a rather obvious sticking point, isn’t it? Amazon launched 3 different ad supported Kindles that day. Surely if they’d wanted to they could have offered the KF with ads. In fact, they likely could have priced the ad supported KF at $199 and offered the ad free model for $249. This would have achieved Amazon’s secondary goal of putting the squeeze on B&N while still netting Amazon a nice chunk of change.

But I think this rumor is at least partially true, only I don’t know which part. Ad Age reportedly has a second source, and that does suggest some real basis for the rumor – unless that second source was an invention, something reporters have done before. Note that this story also has the July launch rumor wrong, which raises questions about  the reporters attention to detail.

I don’t know. This rumor is one of those stories with no real way to get a handle on it and no way to analyze it. There’s always a chance that it is true but so far as we know there’s an equal chance that it’s not. And for all we know this might be true but simply not work out because well no one wants to buy.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Peter18 May, 2012

    I wouldn’t read too much into the fact that the Fire was launched without KSO.

    Presumably, advertisers would want ads on the Kindle Fire to be in color, use video, be touch-enabled, etc. and it’s faster for Amazon to just release the regular version than to hold everything up while the advertisers get content together.

  2. fjtorres18 May, 2012

    All valid points.
    My take is they’re pitching a *new* Fire.
    After all, folks that have a Kindle FIRE bought it ad-free.
    But a KSO FIRE is/will be a different creature.
    Of course, just because they’re trolling for advertisers doesn’t mean the numbers (And firmware) will add up to go ahead.
    And the firmware side will be critical; a KSO FIRE will be offering a pretty good target to hackers.

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