Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Hardware
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Oyster Intros All-You-Can-Read E-Book Service
Oyster Intros All-You-Can-Read E-Book Service

By Barry Levine
September 7, 2013 10:17AM

    Bookmark and Share
A key question is whether Oyster can maintain a successful financial model. If subscription-based e-reading works, then Amazon and Apple will certainly adopt the same model, providing a much larger selection and possibly cheaper prices, as well as much larger user bases with whom to share reading tips.
 



Is an all-you-can-read e-book service a financially viable idea? A New York-based startup called Oyster thinks the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Oyster has launched an iPhone app that offers unlimited access to more than 100,000 book titles for a flat $9.95 per month. An iPad version is expected to be released later this month.

Initially, the app is available via an invite, which can be requested on the company's website at blog.oysterbooks.com. This brings the subscription-based idea, pioneered for movies by Netflix and for music by Spotify, to books for the first time.

A variety of genres are included in the service's library, such as international bestsellers, well-known classics, science fiction and biographies. Titles are available from such publishers as HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Workman and self-publishing provider Smashwords.

$3 Million Raised

The company said its app was designed specifically for mobile devices, with display, personalized recommendations and navigation optimized for such small devices as smartphones. Books can be accessed via one tap.

Readers can search by title or genre, and the service offers recommendations based on topics in the news or popular movies in theaters. Users can follow what their friends are reading, or they can employ a privacy mode that keeps friends from knowing they're reading bodice-rippers. The home screen shows titles that have been selected by editors, and each book has a tab showing related titles.

The company founders -- Eric Stromberg, Andrew Brown and Willem Van Lancker -- created the app in the summer of 2012, and have spent the last year making the arrangements with publishers. Stromberg is a veteran of e-commerce company Hunch, Brown had been a product manager at Google's Doubleclick ad agency, and Van Lancker was the lead designer for Google Maps. The company has raised $3 million from investors.

Make Sense for Publishers?

The company has not made public its financial arrangements with publishers or authors, although a key question is whether Oyster can maintain a successful financial model. If subscription-based e-reading works, then Amazon and Apple will certainly adopt the same model, providing a much larger selection and possibly cheaper prices, as well as much larger user bases with whom to share reading tips. In that case, Oyster may have to specialize in certain kinds of books, or even become a specialized literary social network.

Of course, the same thing had been said about Netflix, which introduced all-you-can-eat monthly movie rentals. Many observers speculated that Blockbuster would blow them out of the water once the model was proven to be popular. But, once Netflix became popular, it had a large and dedicated user base.

The real question is whether this approach makes sense for publishers and authors. It could well make sense for readers of e-books, who can add as many books as desired to their reading lists -- the most recent 10 are available to be downloaded for offline reading.

The company's founders have offered this key selling point to publishers: because a consumer doesn't have to decide whether to spent $12 or $25 on just one new book, more people will just pay an automatically renewable monthly fee to read whatever they want -- potentially resulting in a larger cash flow from more individuals than might otherwise be possible.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:





 Hardware
1.   Watson's First Consumer-Facing Gig
2.   China To Call Qualcomm a Monopoly
3.   Design Central to Microsoft Future
4.   Schools Buy Million Chromebooks in Q2
5.   IRS: Lerner's Hard Drive Destroyed


advertisement
Design Central to Microsoft Future
New ethos a break from functional past.
Average Rating:
Most Networks Not Ready for IoT
But most enterprises are prepared.
Average Rating:
Gartner Sees Tablets Up, PCs Down
But PC sales are recovering.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
T-Mobile Calls 'BS' on AT&T's New Promotion
While Verizon Wireless is moving to throttle bandwidth hogs, a scrappy T-Mobile is taking on the giants with a limited-time promotion it hopes will drive up the churn rates of its wireless rivals.
 
Microsoft Update to Windows Phone 8.1 Already Coming
An update to Windows Phone 8.1 is on the way just weeks after the release of the product itself. Microsoft has begun detailing some of the update features to phone manufacturers.
 
Stanford Researchers Report Battery Breakthrough
Stanford researchers have found a way to use lithium in a battery's anode, a breakthrough that could triple capacity and has been described as the "holy grail of battery science."
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.