Oyster is trying to become the Netflix of books, offering a large library of e-books through a subscription service instead of paying a set amount for each book.
It seems to be working, but Oyster wants to make sure when customers cannot find the book they are searching for, there is always a way to buy it without heading to Amazon’s Kindle store or Barnes & Noble.
By offering the books on the service to purchase, it removes the need for Oyster to actively try and secure search partnerships with Amazon and other providers. It has partnered with Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuste for an even larger library of e-books.
Not only is this good for customers that want a specific book but cannot find it, but it is also good for customers that want to retain copies of the book even when a subscription ends.
This new service will allow people to read and download the e-books from Oyster. This should mean customers will then be able to move the e-book from Oyster to other services like the Kindle e-reader or the iPad - but Oyster still hasn’t confirmed the format.
Books have been in an odd place for the past few years, not able to transition into subscription media like music, TV shows and film. In fact, sales of paperback books has grown in the past six months, showing e-readers might be on the way out.
Oyster is trying to make books a subscription-based media but it is hard with the barriers put up by the industry. Publishers do not seem that keen to work with Oyster, especially given the discounts they are offering to customers in regards to renting books.
Amazon is bound to focus more heavily on a subscription based service for books in the near future, but right now it seems to be content with the Kindle sales.