Amazon offering 2 to 3 months free Kindle Unlimited Subscriptions to SELECT new and returning customers

A few weeks back we wrote about how the Kindle Unlimited Fund (payments to Kindle Unlimited authors) is growing at a slower and slower pace

  1. Payments grew only 10.55% in 2019
  2. Payments grew 55.95% in Dec 2016 to Dec 2019
  3. While those numbers seem ‘not so bad’, they are positively scary compared to the overall growth of 10 times in July 2014 to Dec 2019
    1. And 5 times in July 2014 to Nov 2015

To put it another way

  1. In the first 1.5 years, Kindle Unlimited fund grew 5 times
  2. In the last year, it grew only 10.55%

Any way you look at the figures, Kindle Unlimited fund (payments to authors) is growing at a smaller and smaller rate

10.55% growth suggests Kindle Unlimited growth has hit some sort of wall, or perhaps Amazon just stopped giving authors a proportionate share of earnings

The growth has stalled narrative just got some data to back it up

Amazon offering 60 Day Free Trials of Kindle Unlimited to some SELECT new and Returning Users

Now, thanks to SlickDeals, we get news that Amazon is offering not just the usual 30 day free Kindle Unlimited trial

  1. To SELECT New and Returning customers, Amazon is offering a 60 to 90 Day Free Trial of Kindle Unlimited

Go to this Kindle Unlimited page to see if you qualify for 60 to 90 days, or if they only offer you 30 days

Why is Amazon offering 90 day free trials to Kindle Unlimited?

There are a few possibilities

  1. Kindle Unlimited growth might have stalled. If we look at the TWO DATA POINTS
    1. Kindle Unlimited Fund payments to authors growing slower and slower
    2. Amazon offering 2 Extra Months of Kindle Unlimited to select readers
    3. It seems quite possible that Kindle Unlimited growth might be stalling
  2. It is just a seasonal discount, and does not indicate anything about how Kindle Unlimited is doing
  3. Coronavirus has also affected Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscriptions
    1. Amazon is offering this discount to boost growth and/or make up for slowing growth due to Coronavirus Covid19
  4. [Unlikely, in our opinion] Kindle Unlimited is growing rapidly, and Amazon is trying to boost it even more
  5. The number of readers offered the subscription offer is very small, and it is more of a test

Three interesting observations from the SlickDeals page are this

  1. A user who talks about trying to cancel an existing subscription
    1. The user was offered a month free, and took it
    2. Is Amazon offering a free month to people who want to cancel Kindle Unlimited just as a standard ‘don’t leave’ strategy?
    3. Or is Kindle Unlimited growth stalling and Amazon is forced to counter the slowdown with such offers?
  2. Lots of SlickDeals users signing up and immediately cancelling
    1. What percentage of people who sign up for the first free month with Kindle Unlimited, actually continue?
  3. A few users disappointed to find out that ‘Unlimited’ did not mean all books
    1. They did not realize ‘Unlimited’ includes only books enrolled by authors in the Kindle Unlimited program
    2. They thought it was all Kindle Books
    3. Wonder what percentage of readers get thrown off by the ‘Kindle Unlimited’ name and think it applies to all Kindle ebooks
    4. They subscribe and then find out that most big name authors are not included
    5. Then they end their subscriptions

The third factor is a pretty big one

How does this tie in with the Amount paid per Page read (for the month of January) going down? While payments (Kindle Unlimited Fund) went up in January?

January generally has a lot of Kindle Unlimited pages read (across the entire store). Lots of people reading after Christmas and New Year’s

That trend repeated this year. Kindle Unlimited Fund went up by roughly $2 million

January also usually gets a lower per page read rate

That trend also repeated this year

So, we don’t really have any very clear indication from those two data points. As they match the trends for every January

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