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Kindle Unlimited Payout up Slightly to $1.35 in April 2015

kindle unlimited logoKindle Unlimited set a new record in April 2015 both for the number of ebooks loaned and the funding level.

Amazon announced in the KDP support forums on Friday that they had boosted the funding for KDP Select to $9.8 million, up $300,000 from March 2015.  With a reported payout of $1.35 for each time an ebook was read, that boosts the estimated number of loans to 7.26 million, up from 7.14 million loans last month.

kdp select chart april 2015

As you can see in the above chart, the payment per loan dropped to $1.54 in August 2014 (as a result of Kindle Unlimited launching in July 2014). Thanks to Amazon taking care to limit funding to only grow as fast as the number of ebooks loaned, it has continued to stay below $1.50 since October 2014.

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Greg Strandberg May 16, 2015 um 2:16 am

Ugh…thanks, Amazon. I wish you’d put more money in that fund each month, you know, so payouts were back up to $2.24 or so. I know you’re profiting a lot from KU, but I’m not. Subscription models are good for customers I guess, but as a supplier of that content, I feel incredibly cut out of the loop. I mean, I’m doing the exact same job that I was this time a year ago, but you’ve cut my pay by nearly $1.

Amazon, didn’t you get the newsflash? Many businesses have been trying to show up the government and actually raise pay. You’re striving to do the opposite.

Why is that?

Smart Debut Author May 16, 2015 um 10:50 am

Amazon seems to be trying to stabilize the payout around $1.39, which is numerically interesting, in that it’s 35% of $3.99 and 70% of $1.99.

Perhaps they view a KU borrow as the equivalent to a sale at one of those price points, from which they are entitled to take either an Amazon-Imprint-equivalent cut (of $3.99) or their KDP-equivalent cut (of $1.99).

But the better answer to your question, Greg, is that Amazon wants KU to turn into a real, sustainable business that can operate at breakeven or even generate a little profit, unlike Oyster and Scribd, who have no sustainable business model at all and are doomed to disappear as soon as they burn through the rest of their funding.

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