News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
You are here: Home / Personal Tech / Oyster Intros All-You-Can-Read E-Books
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Oyster Intros All-You-Can-Read E-Book Service
Oyster Intros All-You-Can-Read E-Book Service
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
SEPTEMBER
07
2013


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:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.
MORE IN PERSONAL TECH
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Dairy Queen Latest Retailer To Report Hack
Dairy Queen is known for its hot fries and sweet treats, but it just made cyber history as the latest victim of a hack attack. The fast food chain said that customer data at some stores may be at risk.
 
Lessons from the JPMorgan Chase Cyberattack
JPMorgan Chase is investigating a likely cyberattack. The banking giant is cooperating with law enforcement, including the FBI, to understand what data hackers may have obtained.
 
Who Is the Hacker Group Lizard Squad?
Are they dangerous or just obnoxious? That’s what many are wondering about the hacker group Lizard Squad, which tweeted out a bomb threat that grounded a flight with a Sony exec aboard.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
HP Previews ProLiant Gen9 Data Center Servers
Because traditional data center and server architectures are “constraints” on businesses, HP is releasing new servers aimed at faster, simpler and more cost-effective delivery of computing services.
 
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 
Alert: HP Recalls 5 Million Notebook AC Power Cords
HP is recalling about 5.6 million notebook computer AC power cords in the U.S. and another 446,700 in Canada because of possible overheating, which can pose a fire and burn hazard.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Apple Sets Sept. 9 Event: iPhone 6, iWatch on Tap?
Save the date. Apple formally announced that its long-anticipated “special event," will take place on September 9. Does the tech giant have the iPhone 6, and the iWatch up its sleeve?
 
Samsung's New Smart Watch Makes Calls Without Phone
Following up on the Gear 2, Samsung has unveiled a new 3G smart watch, the Gear S, that stands out in its ability to make phone calls and send text messages without a smartphone.
 
Apple Loses Bid To Block Sales of 9 Samsung Phones
A federal judge has rejected Apple's attempt to block the sale of several older Samsung smartphones that copied features in the iPhone, saying Apple hadn't proven the intellectual theft hurt sales.
 

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.