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Fans of long-form interviews should be excited about Amazon’s launch of the new Kindle Singles Interview series today, which could provide a brand new source of revenue to digital magazines.
The company is teaming up with a handful of publications to produce a new series of thorough (and presumably interesting/entertaining) interviews with famous or important people that you’ll be able to purchase in the Kindle store for $1. Amazon launched Kindle Singles in 2011 as a way to help single-out short stories and essays by notable author — not to be confused with its Kindle Serials, which allow authors to release a portion of an on-going story as it’s completed (sort of like TV show episodes for books).
The Kindle Singles Interview series actually seems like a pretty good idea, considering digital-only magazines still haven’t gained mass appeal from consumers the way print magazines did decades ago. Decades ago, an appealing long-form interview within an issue of a magazine could drive sales by itself, and publishers were able to build a business out of offering lots of content and advertising around those interview center pieces. Now, Amazon is able to offer consumers a way to purchase only those interview, while cutting the magazines in on a portion of the revenue. The business model is akin to picking only the handful of songs you like out of an entire album of music.
The first piece in the Kindle Singles series is an interview with 89-year-old Israeli president Shimon Peres from Harper’s Magazine contributing editor David Samuels in conjunction with Jewish news-focused publication Tablet Magazine. The piece is titled “The Optimist,” and is available today in the Kindle store.