Grandinetti didn’t share a lot of solid details during the half hour interview, but he did speculate that Amazon might consider different pricing models for different types of ebooks (fiction vs nonfiction, for example). He also dropped a few nuggets which raise serious questions about the accuracy and validity of recent news about Kindle Unlimited and its impact on ebook sales.
According to my notes, Grandinetti said that it is still too early to draw any conclusions about Kindle Unlimited, but that Amazon had noticed a few trends.
So far, it has been a net positive on ebook sales. Far from buying fewer ebooks after joining (as some had feared), new KU subscribers devoted around 30% to 40% more time reading after joining KU and spent 25% more on ebooks in the first 60 days after joining (compared to the 60 days prior to joining).
He noted that sales of titles in KDP Select were also up. (In the opinion of this blogger, that is probably due to KU loans giving a boost to sales rankings.) Retention rate for KDP Select was around 95% for the past 5 months, and that the combined earnings (loans plus sales) of titles in KDP Select in the last 5 months of 2014 were “double, more than double” what they were in the same period in 2013.
And FYI: I bumped into Len Edgerley of The Kindle Chronicles in the press room, and he lent me his audio recording so I could confirm the details above.
I may have been one of the first to suggest that possibility a month and a half ago, but as I pointed out the following week there was also a chance that the reports of declining revenues were simply market fluctuations or possibly a sign of cyclical behavior repeating on an annual cycle.
It is frankly too early to say.