Looks like Amazon might be starting to take those criticisms
about the Kindle’s price to heart.
The Register has unearthed a patent application by the
online retail giant that describes adding contextual ads to Kindle content.
Banners would sit atop and beside the content.
The ads wouldn’t be forced upon customers. The patent
applications describe this to be a request-based program.
Interestingly, a second application by Amazon details ads in
printed books, specifically those that are manufactured ‘on-demand’. (This
would likely be out-of-print titles and specialty books.)
It’s possible that Amazon plans to leave Kindle hardware
prices alone and is simply looking for a way to further reduce the price of
content – or to enable ads for its magazine clients. (Admittedly, the filings
tend to support this theory.)
Of course, another possibility would be buyers of a reduced
price Kindle (say, something in the $100 or lower range) would opt-in for ads
in every book, magazine or newspaper they purchase. It might seem a tough sell,
but is it really that much different than any internet page you look at today?