Kindle Unlimited Launches in Spain, Italy
In a move which has me baffled, Amazon continued the European expansion of Kindle Unlimited today with simultaneous launches in Spain and Italy.
Amazon customers in Italy and Spain can now join customers in the US, UK, and Germany in enjoying a catalog of 700,000 titles. The service is now being offered for 10 euros a month, the same as it is in Germany.
The retailer is promoting Kindle Unlimited along similar lines in both countries, touting the Kindle exclusive titles, English language titles, and classics as well as the 15,000 titles in Italian and the 25,000 titles in Spanish.
In Spain, Amazon.es pitches Kindle Unlimited on the inclusion of writers like Santiago Posteguillo, Gabriel García Márquez, and KDP indie author Jorge Magano. In Italy, Amazon.it name drops Anna Premoli, Marcello Simoni and Stephenie Meyer. And in both countries, Amazon also mentions that readers can find Harry Potter, for Dummies books, and more.
I have to say that I was surprised by today’s launch because I was expecting a more general launch, not a piecemeal launch in one country at a time. But now that I see the content deals Amazon has lined up I think I see a method to their madness.
I don’t have any details on this aspect of the Italian ebook market, but I can tell you that Kindle Unlimited is launching in Spain with a larger catalog than any of its local competitors. Kindle Unlimited carries 25,000 Spanish language titles, far more than the 5,000 titles which Skoobe has in its catalog when it expanded into Spain last week, or the 16,000 titles found in the 24Symbols catalog. (I can’t tell you how many Spanish or Italian language titles Scribd has, however.)
It looks like Amazon may have held the launch in Spain until they could guarantee a better selection than their competitors.
On the other hand, they could have a minimum threshold for the number of local titles before Kindle Unlimited launches into another country . If that is correct then further expansion will likely be erratic.
Update: Actualitte reported on the KU expansion earlier today and wrote that KU was facing stiff opposition from French publishers and distributors. This could explain why KU didn’t meet the rumored October launch date for France.
Daniel Vian November 4, 2014 um 3:58 pm
Since according to the pundits everything Amazon does loses money in its campaign to rule the world, all of this is peanuts and we need to wait until Amazon moves its offices into the Vatican before getting our knickers twisted. The rumor is that Jeff Bezos and the new Pope are about to cut a deal that will make our eyes bulge.
Kindle Unlimited Launches in Spain and Italy – MioBook. November 4, 2014 um 5:05 pm
[…] Source: the-digital-reader.com […]
Dan Hill November 4, 2014 um 7:43 pm
Your theory that the order of the KU expansion is driven by opportunties to launch with bigger catalogs than competing subscription services is inconsistent with the fact that KU is not yet available in Canada and Australia where the 700,000 englihs language titles could be leveraged. I suspect it is more about having a decent representation of well-known local authors.
Nate Hoffelder November 4, 2014 um 7:52 pm
Darn, I forgot to consider AU and CAN. You’re right, my second theory would explain it better.
Steve Vernon November 5, 2014 um 3:59 am
You’d know more about Australia than I would, Dan – but I can tell you that the legislative obstacles to ANYTHING up here are pretty daunting. Don’t forget that we’re one of the countries that have fought to hang on to agency pricing.
Canada is also Kobo country.
(and why do I see a Calgary stampede cowboy riding up in a commercial and pulling an e-reader out of his saddle bags before looking grimly at the camera and saying "Canada is Kobo country.")
I don’t know the percentage difference between Canadian Kobo-users versus Canadian Kindle-users – but I do know that I sell a heck of a lot more books through Kobo in Canada than I sell through Amazon.ca.
I think that eventually KU will move up here to Canada. I think that KU is DEFINITELY a wonderful multi-purpose addictive-as-crack sales mechanism that is designed to convert the e-reading public in ANY nation into the Kindle-cult.
I just think it might take them a little longer, is all.
Javi November 5, 2014 um 4:09 am
Price in USA: 9,99$ (7,40€ to the change); in Spain: 9,99€….
That mania of USA companies to match the dollar to euro.
Ana November 10, 2014 um 5:07 pm
"I can tell you that Kindle Unlimited is launching in Spain with a larger catalog than any of its local competitors. Kindle Unlimited carries 25,000 Spanish language titles, far more than the 5,000 titles which Skoobe has in its catalog when it expanded into Spain last week, or the 16,000 titles found in the 24Symbols catalog."
Well, I haven’t made a exhaust research, but probably the larger catalog in KU comes from self-published authors. KU seems to have the same catalog as 24symbols for books published by BdeBooks, a brand of one of the big publisher’s houses in Spain, but some books I’ve checked from Anagrama, another brand in other publisher, aren’t present in KU, while 24symbols has some, for example, last Nobel works, Patrick Modiano. Impedimenta, a medium size publisher I love, doesn’t have Stanislaw Lem’s books on KU, while there are some available on 24symbols.
I’m sure KU catalog will grow next months as Amazon reaches to agreements with different publishers, but youcant compare catalogs just based on number of books.
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[…] a minimum number of local titles. This could explain why Amazon launched KU in Spain and Italy a couple weeks ago, but not anywhere else in Europe, and why KU is available in the US and UK but now Canada, […]
Kindle Unlimited Launches in Mexico, Canada ⋆ Ink, Bits, & Pixels February 12, 2015 um 12:14 pm
[…] This would explain why KU didn't launch in Canada at the same time as in the US, or that the Mexico launch didn't happen alongside the launch in Spain last November. […]
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[…] I can see a clear connection between the expansion of KU into Germany (October), Spain and Italy (November), France and Brazil (December), Mexico and Canada […]