Is Amazon Screwing Over Bloggers?

[For more on these Kindle investigations, see ten arguments against the Kindle, the initial query concerning blog content being redistributed without permission or compensation, the first wave of Kindle blogger responses, and the the second wave of Kindle blogger responses.]

On Saturday, Matthew Ingram noticed this about the Kindle:

The second thing that hit me was the part where Steven Levy says that users will be able to download books, newspapers and magazines, and will even be able to “subscribe to selected blogs, which cost either 99 cents or $1.99 a month per blog.” That one made me do a double-take. Pay a monthly subscription fee to read a blog? Either Levy and/or Bezos have been smoking something, or they have found some magical way to get people to pay for something that has historically been free.

So wait a minute here. Do any of these blogs get a cut here? I’m going to conduct some investigation and confirm if this is indeed the case.

[UPDATE: Here is a list of Kindle blogs. This blog does not appear to be listed, but Galleycat, Overheard in New York, Jossip and Boing Boing are. It appears quite likely that arrangements have been made with these respective outfits. But I will dig up more info and find out for sure.]

[UPDATE 2: Emails have been sent to many of the bloggers at the Kindle Store. If I find out anything for sure, I will post my findings here.]

[UPDATE 3: Jason Kottke has additional links, including the revelation of bloggers getting "a revenue share with Amazon, since it costs money to get those publications." Nothing, as of yet, confirmed with anyone from Amazon. Hopefully, I'll have some more answers later this afternoon about what's going on.]

[UPDATE 4: Glenn Reynolds has emailed me back, telling me that his syndication rights are owned by third party Pajamas Media. He believes they cut this deal. I will follow up with them. Of being informed of the Kindle, he writes, "I've heard nothing from Amazon myself. I don't mind being on Kindle at all, but it seems surprising that I haven't even gotten a PR email from them." I plan to assemble another post based on the responses I get.]

[UPDATE 5: Robert Scoble writes:

Because then I’ll get a few bucks back for each one you buy. If I read my email right, Amazon is paying bloggers $40 for each one sold. That’s pretty darn cool.

The price to you doesn’t change. But, if you don’t want me to get some money, then visit Amazon’s home page by typing http://www.amazon.com into your browser window.

It’s not the only way I’ll get paid, though.

If you buy a Kindle and you buy my blog. It looks like I get 30% of that fee.

Anyway, thanks Amazon for all the cash! (I’ll need it, cause I just bought my own — it will be here tomorrow).

"Thanks Amazon for all the cash" indeed. If Amazon is indeed paying bloggers $40 for every Kindle sold and many of the top technology bloggers are on board for this, can we count upon these bloggers to be critical of the product?]

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4 Comments

  1. Uh oh.

    Not good.

  2. Jason Kottke discovered (via Engadget) that there is some sort of revenue sharing going on.
    http://www.kottke.org/remainder/07/11/14512.html

  3. Even if there wasn’t revenue sharing, I presume what the payment for is the EVDO service you get with the device.

  4. Why charge for individual subscriptions instead of a flat fee for access to the network? It seems like a sneaky way of making a market for something that’s ordinarily free.

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