Earlier today Amazon quietly launched what has turned out to be their fourth content+ hardware bundle, a detail I missed until after I reported on that earlier story. The bundles didn’t all happen at once, so it might surprise you to learn that Amazon has been building up to this for a while now.
Amazon is now bundling Kindle Unlimited with newly purchased Kindles and Fire tablets. They’re also running a special where you can bundle a Prime subscription with a Fire HD 7 tablet and save $40 (it started last week ).
Last week Amazon also started bundling 6 months free WP subscription with Fire tablets and Phone, and as you may recall Amazon also bundled a year’s free subscription with the Fire Phone when it was launched earlier this year.
Amazon isn’t the first to bundle a subscription with a tablet or smartphone; in 2012 several newspapers, including the Financial Times and the Times of London, bundled a Nexus 7 with their digital subscription. The newspapers in Philly offered a similar deal with an Archos Arnova tablet in late 2011, and in early 2012 B&N bundled a free Nook Touch or discounted Nook Color with a subscription to People or the NYTimes.
And I’m sure there are even more bundles than what I found here, but I think I have found enough examples to show that Amazon isn’t the first to bundle a subscription with a mobile device like a tablet or a smartphone.
But they sure are getting into it in a big way. Do you think they’ll have much luck?
That would depend on how you define luck. In the past, a newspaper or magazine publisher might bundle a freebie with a subscription but then stop offering it after a period and replace it with another freebie. So if Amazon stopped offering a bundle it wouldn’t necessarily mean that it was unsuccessful, just that the market was tired.
Amazon, on the other hand, might not stop offering a bundle.
That is pure conjecture, but it’s worth noting that Amazon has been building a content and service subscription bundle over the past decade which continues to draw subscribers and is almost certainly a net positive revenue generator.
I’m talking about Amazon Prime, of course.I know that’s not what you may think of as a bundle, but I bring it up because I think it points to Amazon’s past decade of studying how a potentially money losing membership program actually drives sales elsewhere on Amazon.com.
Given that Amazon has proven capable of driving long term value from prime subscribers, I think they could have similar luck with the bundles they have launched over the past 6 months.
What do you think?
image by mikecogh