The literature-offering Oyster e-book service will be closed for business soon enough, with reportedly some of its team moving on to the similar section on Google Play Store. It may be hinting at future services from the tech company.
- Oyster e-books was founded in 2012 and shifted to subscription-based in 2013
- The monthly subscription cost $9.95
- It was often compared to Scribd, another e-book website
For now though, Oyster, otherwise dubbed the ‘Netflix for Books’, will be shutting down its subscription based services that provided customers with a huge library of e-books for a monthly fee. The website required clients to pay $9.95 per month in order for them to indulge in their services.
It is believed that they have been the business model for Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers have access to an unlimited amount of e-books and audiobooks for $9.99 monthly fee from the commercial website. Apparently though, it has worked a lot better for them, though it can be said that Amazon is backed by their highly successful services and Fire gadgets.
Oyster was founded in 2012 by Willem Van Lanckerin, Eric Stromberg and Andrew Brown, and began requiring paid subscriptions in 2013, but their operation will unfortunately come to a close in the coming months. Until then, existing clients are assured that their services will work as well as normal up until the day it closes.
The market of e-books is undoubtedly tough to break. Users are not often willing to pay for digital copies of books, and publishers are very, very wary about offering them that option early on. The matter of illegal downloads is likely on their minds, which is already causing a huge drop in profits for everything, be it books, movies, TV series, and, especially, music.
Publishers tend to keep the latest and popular titles away from e-book companies, preferring to distribute them first on hardcover, then paperback, and perhaps a while after, in digital format. However, it had been reported that Oyster had ties with major publishers such as HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster, which could be brought over to their new services on Google.
That could possibly hint at the company’s attempt of challenging Amazon. By bringing in most of the Oyster team, including its three founders, Google might be trying to provide subscription based e-book services sometime in the future.
The company possibly ‘acquihired’ them with that specific goal in mind. The term ‘acquihired’ is used when a company purchases just the employers for their skills and expertise, rather than their services or brand name.
This means that Google might soon offer its own brand of subscription for e-books.
Image source: pcmag.com