Oyster offers unlimited access to over 100,000 books for $9.95 a month, with new titles added all the time. We are currently rolling out invitations for iPhone and iPod Touch. We created Oyster to evolve the way people read and to create more of the special moments that only books can offer. From anywhere a mobile device can go—a bustling subway car, a quiet coffee shop, or lost at sea with a Bengal tiger—our mission is to build the best reading experience, one that is both communal and personal, anytime, anywhere.
Oyster alternatives are: Scribd, Entitle
2015 E-Book subscription service Oyster to shut down
Oyster, which launched its “Netflix for books” app two years ago, announced in a blog post that it will close down the service by early 2016. If you’ve purchased a book or are an Oyster Unlimited subscriber you will receive an email regarding your account in the next few weeks. You will be able to access and read purchased books indefinitely. Oyster Unlimited cost $9.95 a month and its chief rival was Scribd when it launched in September 2013. Competition became even more fierce when Amazon started its own e-book subscription service in July 2014. Though Oyster launched with a challenging business model in an industry with a sole dominant player, its app managed to set itself apart from Kindle with several features like user interface, curated book lists, essays, and large selection.
2015 Oyster adds light-adjusting technology for easier e-reading
Ebook subscription service Oyster adds a new feature to its e-reading platform that adjusts the color and brightness of mobile users’ screens in order to improve the e-reading experience. Called Lumin, the software decreases the amount of blue light emitted by LED screens, which some recent research has suggested can be harmful to readers’ eyes in dark environments and even frustrate sleep cycles. Lumin aims to help Oyster users read at night with less strain by replacing the amount of blue light with a softer, amber light. While backlit e-ink screens are typically thought to be less harsh than those of smartphones or tablets, Oyster’s technology purports to cut the amount of blue light emitted by both types devices at least in half.
2015 Oyster launches own e-book store
Oyster (the Netflix For Books) that charges $9.95 a month for unlimited access to a library of more than 1 million titles, is expanding that model by launching its own e-book store. The store will allow Oyster to offer a truly comprehensive selection of books to its readers. The interface isn’t changing dramatically — you’ll just see a much wider selection of books, with titles available via subscription displayed side-by-side with those that are only available for individual purchase. The e-book store is launching with all of the Big Five publishers in the United States on-board, namely Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. Competitor Scribd, by the way, also sells e-books individually, but it says it’s focused on the subscription model.
2014 Oyster created author board and online literary magazine
Ebook subscription service Oyster launches two new programs. First - Author Advisory Board invites top authors to weigh in on how Oyster does business. Board members “will provide input and feedback on product and content decisions at Oyster to help ensure that streaming services for books are mutually beneficial to writers, readers, and publishers for a long time to come. The second program finds Oyster taking its discovery efforts to the web, with the launch of a digital magazine called The Oyster Review. The publication is freely available online, including to those who don’t subscribe to Oyster’s ebook platform, and will feature original writing related to ebooks featured in Oyster’s catalog, much of it by other authors. Oyster subscribers won’t have access to exclusive additional content, but they’ll have the unique ability to easily jump in to books on The Oyster Review and start reading.
2014 Oyster adds social Book Lists to drive discovery
Ebook subscription service Oyster introduces the new feature Book Lists, allowing users to recommend and share personalized collections of titles. Book Lists are now available to all Oyster subscribers at no additional cost, accessible through each user’s profile page. Readers can create lists of any length and share them selectively with other Oyster subscribers as well as on social media channels outside the e-reading platform. User generated recommendations brings Oyster readers a third way to discover new titles, in addition to the platform’s built-in recommendation system–which is driven by both an editorial team and an algorithm–and by browsing freely in Oyster catalog. The new feature arrives at a time when ebook subscription services are fine-tuning their discovery mechanisms and billing them as key selling points for readers. Entitle, another subscription ebook provider, recently upgraded its recommendation system to improve how users discover new content.
2014 Oyster launches cross-platform web reader
Oyster, the unlimited ebook subscription service, announced the launch of its web and mobile web reader. Now available to read on web and mobile web browsers, the expansion marks Oyster’s second new platform in the past month, delivering the service to a vast new audience of readers. Much like reading your favorite blog, pages in the web reader will scroll smoothly from top to bottom, while also offering the choice of one of five reader themes Oyster users love on Android and Apple platforms.
2014 Oyster comes to Android, Kindle Fire and Nook tablets
Ebook subscription service Oyster, which was previously only available on iOS, is expanding to Android, Kindle Fire and Nook HD tablets. New features include “read time” for books (there is a similar feature on Kindle e-readers) and the ability to turn a book’s pages using the volume buttons on an Android device. Oyster, which offers unlimited reads for $9.95 a month, now lists more than 500,000 book titles from two of the big five publishers — HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster — and a host of small and medium-sized publishers. That puts it roughly on par with Scribd, another e-book subscription service, which is available on iOS, Android and the Web.
2014 Oyster Teams up With Spritz to Bring Faster Reading Experience
Ebook subscription service Oyster and text streaming startup Spritz have teamed up to provide a reading experience unlike any other before. With a groundswell of excitement around the capabilities of Spritz, Oyster is thrilled to provide the first platform for the public to read a full-length, in-copyright book utilizing Spritz’s speed-reading technology. Available at OysterBooks.com/Spritz, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” — the renowned business title by Stephen Covey with over 20 million copies sold to-date — is available for free reading using Spritz technology.The 432 print-pages of the book can be finished in under 2 hours. This offer is a first-of-its-kind collaboration and Oyster and Spritz are excited to hear from users about the experience. They’ll evaluate the response and consider bringing additional full-length, in-copyright books to the public together again in the future.
2014 Oyster partners with Disney to provide books for kids
Ebook subscription service Oyster has added about 100 titles from Disney and created the separate section for kids with around 10,000 ebooks. Along with the Disney books, which feature properties like Toy Story, Cars and the Disney Princesses, the vertical will include titles that were already available on Oyster and were either lumped in under “Young Adult” or weren’t categorized. Several companies are trying to offer children’s ebook subscriptions. One of those offerings is Amazon’s Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, which starts at $2.99 per month and offers unlimited access to a library of children’s ebooks, apps, movies and games on Kindle Fire tablets. Kindle FreeTime Unlimited includes 1,600 ebooks, including around 100 Disney titles. Disney used to offer its own ebook subscription service, but ended it.
2013 Scribd and Oyster sing more book publishers
Competing ebook subscription services Oyster and Scribd signed deals with new publisher to bring more titles to their platforms. Oyster partnered with Perseus. Oyster would not say how many titles Perseus will be distributing through the subscription provider, but highlights include Friday Night Lights, Masters of Sex, and Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage that will be available to its subscribers for $9.95 a month. And Scribd has signed a deal with self-published ebook distributor Smashwords to more than triple Scribd’s current catalog. Smashwords titles will bring the number of ebooks available through an $8.99 monthly subscription to over 325,000. Smashwords titles will also be available for individual sale on the wider Scribd site. Note, that Oyster also has a deal with Smashwords. For now Oyster and Scribd seem to have a very similar if not completely overlapping catalog.
See also: Oyster vs Scribd
2013 Ebook subscription service Oyster opens to all, brings app for iPad
Not only Scribd wants to be the "Netflix for ebooks". Its competitor, Oyster that is making its e-book subscription service available to all users and expanding to iPad (the iPhone app was release a month ago). The iPad app very similarly to the iPhone app, but with more of an emphasis on using the screen's extra real estate to enhance the browsing experience. Oyster highlights books in different categories, similar to Netflix, shows which books your friends are reading on the service and lets readers flip through pages by scrolling up and down or tapping on the side of the page. Oyster charges $9.95 a month for access to more than 100,000 books from big and small publishers, but it now offers users one free month with the hope of getting more people to try the app experience.