Those barely discounted Amazon Kindles with Special Offers that launched earlier this year have become the hottest commodity for Amazon in the e-reader market.
Who would have thought that discounting a Kindle just $30 or so in return for getting sponsor messages on your screensaver would be so appealing? Now these Kindle owners will get localized offers.
Beginning with the New York market and then migrating to other major cities, AmazonLocal will feed into both the basic special offer Kindle and its 3G cousin deals, which take a virtual page from the Groupon/LivingSocial model.
In the New York market, Kindlers will see offers such as a half- price Central Park bike rental or ticket to Dangerfield's comedy club. A month of unlimited yoga classes and $10 worth of ice cream are available at discount rates.
The ads on Kindle with Special Offers generally are without interruption. They use the idle screen that pops up on the device after it has been unused for a period of time. In the traditional Kindle, we used to get portraits of Emily Dickinson and Dickens. Now we get Visa and yoga positions.
The model is crafty, really, if you consider that an idle Kindle will sit on a sofa or desk for extended periods. Having its idle screen occupied by a sponsor is akin to having a magazine open to an ad page for extended periods. Here is hoping the creative for these offers is up to the task.
Kindlers can see the deals on their device and get a voucher on the screen. Because Amazon already has the user's account number, the back end of ordering and entering payment information is handled seamlessly. The orders are also accessible online through AmazonLocal. com.
The new functionality for the Kindle will result in a software update in the next few weeks.
AmazonLocal was launched just this year by Amazon and now runs deals in 44 cities in the U.S.