Amazon revolutionizes mass distribution with Whispercast

Amazon revolutionizes mass distribution with Whispercast

This is the kind of big scale, forward thinking concept that Amazon does well:

press release

It’s a new enterprise service called Whispercast which enables an entity (a business, a school) to easily distribute the same content to large numbers of Kindle users.

It has always been one of the best features of the Kindle service that you can have as many devices as you want registered to the same account. You can literally have a hundred or more Kindles and free Kindle reading apps registered to the same account and all read the book for one download price.

You can’t typically all read it at the same time, though. The publishers set a “simultaneous device limit” for each title. Unless it says otherwise on the book’s Amazon product page, that number is six.

We have seventeen devices/apps registered to our account (they aren’t all used actively) and four people in two time zones.

However, it hasn’t been easy for organizations to work with multiple Kindles.

One thing: you had to choose each Kindle/app, one at a time, to send them a book. If you are trying to send thirty students or one hundred employees the same book, that’s just a bear.

Enter Whispercast.

There is a lot of material for me to go through, but preliminarily, it looks like you can do “send all” to send to all of the devices/apps in one move.

Here is the help page:

https://whispercast.amazon.com/

This will make it much more useful for organization documents being distributed to organization-owned devices.

However, another piece of this is “bring your own device”. Employees don’t want to carry their personal Kindles and a company-issued Kindle.

You can bet, though, that a publisher wouldn’t want a book distributed to one hundred Kindles for the same price as to six Kindles.

To address this, Amazon is setting up mass gifting. The company pays for the book for each Kindle, but the Kindle stays registered to its owner’s personal account.

There are a lot of possible implications for this, and not just for businesses and schools. There are elements of this that could apply to families and “book clubs” as well.

The Whispercast service itself is free, and I may see if I can sign up for an individual just to get a better idea.

I’m going to dig this through more, but I wanted to let you know right away. This question of enterprise use comes up on the Kindle forums from time to time.

I think this has some great potential, both for Amazon and for the organizations that may use it. Just like with peer-to-peer lending and text-to-speech, a lot of it will depend on execution, but the concept is good.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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7 Responses to “Amazon revolutionizes mass distribution with Whispercast”

  1. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I saw the PR and put it on my to be read queue, but your post moves it much closer to the top. I just spent a couple of hours today trying to organize my kindle content across 8 devices/apps.

    One thing I’d like to see is some way to create a consolidated picture/report of what is currently on all my devices/apps. It’s not enough to be able to blast content out to many devices, but also at the end of a semester to selectively remove content.

    • D. Knight Says:

      Whispercast seems to only be available for business and education (from what I read) but hopefully Amazon will bring some of those capabilities to individual User accounts. Even I’m starting to get a large number of devices on my account.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      I would love to know what’s been sent to what device (we can currently only see a few “recent successful deliveries” under Pending Deliveries at http://www.amazon.com/myk).

      I don’t know that selective removal will be possible, though. We haven’t been able to remove a file from a specific device from the http://www.amazon.com/myk page…although that could be part of this.

  2. You can manage Kindle FreeTime centrally at MYK « I Love My Kindle Says:

    [...] I think this suggests some really powerful tools coming our way! I wouldn’t be surprised if this was connected (at least in terms of development) with Whispercast. [...]

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    [...] think Amazon is going to considerably improve this, possibly in the next year. They already have Whipsercast for organizations, and I think we’ll get some version of [...]

  4. Lending versus sharing | I Love My Kindle Says:

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