Nuvem de Livros is a subscription based eBook service in Brazil. It has over 1 million subscribers. According to this post a big part of its subscribers are students who pay a about $1 per month (regular subscription fee is $3). What does this service offer?
The students can read novels, biographies, short story collections, or essays, and they can also look up terms in encyclopedias and dictionaries or study interactive maps. The Nuvem de Livros catalog also includes audiobooks, educational videos, and author interviews. The apps are equipped with features that allows users to search through books to find specific terms, bookmark pages, and learn.
The collection size is currently 10,000 titles and can be accessed via the web or iOS and Android apps.
While this type of service hasn’t made it to the American market yet I think it’s only a matter of time. Similar services exist (or will launch soon) in other countries. Amazon has their Kindle Owners’ Lending Library as part of their Amazon Prime service. It’s kind of like a subscription service but it’s only available to Kindle owners.
I wonder what would happen if OverDrive decided to offer a direct-to-consumer subscription service? They've got agreements with most of the big publishers and many small publishers and a pretty a good delivery system. With their new OverDrive One service (rolled out yesterday with version 3.0 of their app) they are getting people to create OverDrive specific accounts. What’s to keep them from launching a subscription service? A service like this could be an additional revenue stream. It may undercut their library market but how much money could they make in a direct-to-consumer service?
Just a thought.