Yesterday, Amazon announced a developer platform for the Kindle. With the recent change in publishers revenue share to 70% in the Kindle store, economics now mirroring the iTunes store’ revenue share, iPhone OS and Kindle devices will be competing directly each other in pubished content and gaming. 

Given the Kindle’s current hardware constraints, I see three areas of growth for the Kindle platform:

  1. Basic games – Sudoku, crosswords, puzzles would work very well and seem to match the audience. Tetris might not be feasible: it may be case where the screen is pushed to keep up with the game.
  2. New visualizations of existing professional web data – the New York Times has pioneered web centric visualizations of their newspaper and in all likelihood new metaphors for content will be developed on the Kindle for magazines and other periodicals. After all, many would agree the browsing experience on the Kindle is sub-par. But as a next generation RSS reader with background caching of new articles and combined with the phenomenal Instapaper, the sky is the limit in terms of usage.
  3. Self publishing and user generated content – the amount of content on the Kindle will explode as self published content, a growing trend in the print industry, and user generated content make their way on to the majority of the 3M e-Readers sold last year.
A big question in my mind is whether the Kindle mobile platform will open up new revenue possibilities where developers/content producers can generate significant revenues as on the iPhone. Additionally, if the platform takes off and large amounts of free data are consumed over Whispernet, there may be ramifications for Kindle subscribers wallets as Amazon cannot continue to subsidize data running across Sprint’s network.

Next, I’m excited to see Kindle’s competitor in the flesh – for that we will have to wait till the 27th.


One thought on “The Kindle’s new publishing platform

  1. Good piece Tom, my bet is that Apple is going to surprise most people on what a tablet can be, it will likely push the Kindle into a niche product pretty fast and bring the fruits of mobile publishing and Apple’s brand to the corporate world in a big way. The web is getting ready to be impacted far more than most people think by wireless consumption, Apple tablet or not.

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