Amazon Patents Detail Kindle Advertising Model

Kindle adsWould you buy a Kindle ebook reader from Amazon if you received a free, ad-supported version of a book for each physical copy purchased? The U.S. Patent Office has published several Amazon patents in the past 30 days that could lead the online bookseller in that direction.

One co-inventor, Udi Manber, left Amazon for a gig as VP of engineering for search at Google. Filed December 2006 and granted last month, the patent would give consumers who purchase a print book an electronic copy of the physical version, too.

Two additional patents filed by Amazon, published July 2, describe incorporating targeted advertising in on-demand generated content. These patents, filed in Dec. 2007, provide an example for advertising on Kindle.

The patents clearly note that Amazon would insert advertisements throughout the ebooks, from the beginning to the end, between chapters or following every 10 pages, as well as in the margins. A cross-reference feature would add annotations, supplemental reference materials, and illustrations, as well as the ability to print on-demand paper copies in PDF and other format files. Kindle relies on Sprint to download content to the reader.



Bill Slawski, who has found a niche offering insight into patent filings on his blog, SEO by the Sea, says "it makes sense to follow a Web-based model if you have a fairly low-cost reading device that connects to the Internet."

Slawski says Amazon's patents claim several advantages to serving up ads to consumers. One such benefit considered has been a lower price for the book if the consumer agrees to view advertisements. On page 12 in the novel that describes a restaurant, for example, Kindle would serve up an ad on food or dinning in the margin. If the novel takes place in Europe, the advertisements might relate to European hotels and resorts. For those who have a profile, the ads could also tie into that information.

Tracking the ads would rely on bar codes or another type of numeric code placed on the ads. I would let advertisers know that people saw the ads and want to know more. The code might associate the code and the ad with a specific consumer if the person logs into the profile page. The patents also describe interacting with the ads to get more information.

Advertisers would need to provide additional information to Amazon, other than the ad, so it is shown in places relevant to the person ordering the book.

Google has an AdWords-type console that makes distribution of ads easy for TV and radio. The Mountain View, Calif. company could easily provide something similar for Sony's Reader Digital Book, Slawski says.

5 comments about "Amazon Patents Detail Kindle Advertising Model ".
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  1. Justin Boone from ClearMetrics, July 7, 2009 at 9:33 a.m.

    The benefit doesn't sound like it be revenue generated from advertising so far. It more so sounds like the benefit would be in tracking the user's behavior in regards to advertisements and using this with profile data to get a better consumer profile of Kindle users. This seems awful for the consumer and very desperate on part of Amazon and Google.

  2. Warren Lee from WHL Consulting, July 7, 2009 at 12:51 p.m.

    Just because you can does not mean that you should. While it is nice of Amazon to give a digital version of the book out, there is no real cost to them for doing it other then the memory stick. I think that the User Experience takes a big hit with the inclusion of advertising in the digital book. Oh, and what is that about interaction on a device with no key board or ability to get online. So how do you interact? If that is the case then the most that the Kindle platform can really deliver is low cost branding experience. Is the customer backlash worth the small amount of revenue that this would bring in?

  3. Nitin Gupta from http://digitalmarketingtoday, July 7, 2009 at 2:32 p.m.

    Amazon should give the user the option to buy an ad free version of the book for $9.99 or buy the book free but supported by ads. So the choice will be left to the consumer.
    The concept has been around forever in magazines and newspapers and does not really affect the user experience. It is great way to increase readership while bringing down the cost for the consumer.
    With videos and banner ads delivered through AdSense or other technology, it will be a great way to build a brand for the publisher.

  4. Kevin Horne from Lairig Marketing, July 7, 2009 at 3:22 p.m.

    Contextual advertising gone over the cliff. Sure, if I'm reading the travel section of the Times online, you should serve me up a banner ad for European travel.

    But because a book author decided to put a sentence about Europe on page 10 of my Kindle readout, that means I am interested in travelling to Europe?


  5. Mitchell Millar from Bay Area News Group, July 8, 2009 at 3:18 p.m.

    Hey, here's an idea!

    Book publishers should start adding display ads along side the story text, on chapter pages, covers, and page flaps in the PRINTED version of their books, too.

    O, yeah. That would be a stupid idea, too.

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