Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has sold e-books in the Kindle Store using its own formatting style ever since the Kindle was introduced in 2007.
That will change next year when a new program is launched called Amazon Lives. This program will debut with biographies that will be available in multiple formats as well as places outside of the Kindle Store.
Amazon has been stepping out into a lot of new markets lately. The online retailer is planning to open a boutique in Seattle to sell the Kindle and other products. The company that started the online buying revolution will now have a tangible, brick and mortar presence.
We’ve also seen Amazon challenge Netflix with free movie streaming for Prime members, and take a stab at Apple’s iPad consumer market with the Kindle Fire.
Now with Amazon Lives, the line blurs as Kindle e-books lose their exclusive formatting identity. Amazon Lives is just starting out with biographies, but I doubt it will take too long to branch out into other genres. Barnes & Noble and Books a Million recently stated that they would not sell Amazon books in their stores, but the launch of this new program might affect that sales strategy.
The technology market in general involves a lot of cat and mouse type competition. I’ve seen this ramp up a lot with the entrance of e-readers and tablets. Competition is healthy in most respects because it makes the products better. Take the Kindle Touch for example. This version followed suit after other e-readers started adopting touch screen technology. However, if a company wants to try to take over so many different areas of the market, then they risk losing quality in their products.
So my hope is that Kindle e-books will maintain their good reputation while serving the broadest audience possible as they venture into the new realm of non exclusivity.