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Ad-Supported Kindle Gets Popular: Do People Not Mind Advertising?

by Emily Price | May 15, 2011May 15, 2011 12:04 pm PDT

The ad-supported Kindle is now Amazon’s best-selling Kindle. The e-reader comes at a $25 discount from the traditional Kindle; however, displays ads and special offers as full-screen screensavers and small banner ads at the bottom of the homescreen.

Back when the ad-supported Kindle was first announced, we talked a little bit about what ad-supported electronics might mean for gadget sales in general. While $25 isn’t a dramatic discount on a Kindle, it is a pretty nice percentage when you consider the device is only $139 to begin with. While I personally didn’t think people would jump at the chance for a $25 discount on a Kindle, I could definitely see someone jumping at a several hundred dollar discount on a television or computer at the expense viewing occasional screensaver and homescreen ads. Noah even suggested that the whole concept could lend itself to something like a Wal-Mart tablet or phone that was subsidized by the retailer in exchange for you checking out periodic advertising.

The ad-supported Kindle went on sale May 3, and has already positioned itself as the site’s top-selling e-reader. So, do people not care about the advertising?

We see ads pretty much everywhere we go these days. There are billboards on the side of the road while you’re driving, commercials interrupting your favorite television programs, and even ads on your favorite websites and mobile applications. Advertising is very much a part of everyone’s everyday life, so maybe it’s not that big of a deal to have it on your Kindle as well?

I’ve gotten to be pretty good at looking past most ads (as have many of you I’m sure). I don’t know that I wouldn’t really mind THAT much having ads on my e-reader, or my home computer for that matter. Sure, the concept of it seems awful and one I would argue for a while probably spouting off things about “the man,” but in execution I actually don’t think it would be that bad. Throw in a huge discount on my device? I’d probably be sold.

What do you guys think about advertising on your electronics? Is the $25 discount on the Kindle worth putting up with a few ads? What if there was no discount? Do you think advertising on our electronics is just something that we’ll all eventually have to deal with?


Emily Price

Emily has been obsessed with computers since the early 80s when she discovered she could play Ghostbusters on her father's Commodore 64. She...

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