Oyster vs Scribd

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.
Scribd is the world's largest digital library, where readers can discover books and written works of all kinds on the Web or any mobile device and publishers and authors can find a voracious audience for their work. Launched in March of 2007 and based in San Francisco California, more than 40 million books and documents have been contributed to Scribd by the community. Scribd content reaches and audience of 80 million people around the world every month.

Latest news about Oyster and Scribd:

03.01.17. Scribd removes digital comics. Scribd is no longer offering digital comics on their platform and has removed over one thousand single issues and graphic novels. The company found it economically unfeasible to pay the large royalties for each comic read and decided to just suspend the service, rather than trying to make it work. Scribd is facing a number of hardships over the past few years, despite most of their competition exiting the field. They first culled over 225,000 romance and self-published e-books from their platform and then announced that they made cuts to their audiobook system because they are losing money. They ditched their unlimited audiobook package and subscribers can only listen to a single title per month. In 2016 they changed their business model from an unlimited service to a credit based one.

23.02.16. Scribd is limiting the number of e-books you can read. Starting this March Scribd subscribers will be issued Monthly Read credits that will enable them to read three e-books and one audiobook every month from the full Scribd library, while still being able to read an unlimited number of books from Scribd Selects, a rotating selection of titles. The company says that 97% of its customers read less than three books per month, and will likely not be negatively affected by the change. The unlimited e-book subscription model is not a viable business model and many of the companies that participated in this space have all closed down. Entitle and Oyster raised a hundred million dollars over the years and still weren’t able to make the concept work.

22.09.15. 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.

25.06.15. Scribd acquired social reading app Librify. Ebook subscription startup Scribd has acquired Librify, a social reading app, the companies announced today. In a sparse press release, Scribd argues Librify’s “focus on the social reading experience” made the deal worthwhile. The news arrives at a heated time for the publishing industry, as Amazon, Oyster, and others all fight to be the definitive Netflix for books — all while hawking remarkably similar products. Scribd plans to use the start-up’s social features in order to develop a more robust social e-reading experience within its own platform. “We value Librify’s focus on the social reading experience and the great work they’ve already done within reading communities,” Scribd co-founder and CEO Trip Adler said in a statement today. “This move is a natural extension of the existing Scribd product and something we, and our readers, have wanted to explore more deeply.”

22.06.15. 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.

09.04.15. 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.

11.02.15. Scribd adds 10,000 comic books for unlimited subscription. In case getting unlimited access to an enormous library of e-books and audiobooks for $8.99 a month wasn’t enough for you, Scribd is announcing today that it’s expanding into comic books. The service is adding more than 10,000 comics and graphic novels from publishers including Marvel, Archie, Boom! Studios, Dynamite, IDW/Top Shelf, and Valiant. The subscription service, available across iOS, Android and the web, will give readers the option to search for comic books and graphic novels by category, publisher and even key characters. Scribd also has about a dozen people on its marketing and editorial team who curate collections on the service.

22.11.14. 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.

07.11.14. Scribd adds 30K audiobooks to its $8.99/month ebook subscription. As of today, Scribd subscribers will have access to 30,000 audiobooks. The company has created a new audiobook section on its website and mobile apps. When it has the rights to both the text and audio versions of a book, you’ll have the option to jump back-and-forth between the two. For example, you could start reading a book at home, then if you need to drive somewhere, you can continue  listening to the story in your car, via audiobook. Scribd is adding audiobooks without raising its $8.99 monthly subscription fee. Scribd says its e-book service now has more than 500,000 titles. Subscriber numbers have grown an average of 52 percent each month since January 2013 (when the company quietly launched the subscription service).

05.11.14. 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.

09.08.14. Scribd builds new discovery experience. Subscription ebook service Scribd is launching a new book discovery engine. The new technology is a mix of editor tagging and curation, a new book categorization system that eschews the widely accepted BISAC book classification scheme, and algorithms that help put it all together to surface new and better book recommendations to users. More than half of Scribd titles are discovered serendipitously now, and the company believes that the key to retaining more subscribers is to grow that proportion further. Recommendation engines are more important for subscription services than for other kinds of retail operations because retention is all about keeping customers engaged.

25.07.14. 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.

16.07.14. Scribd launches Windows Phone app, updates Android, iOS apps. Popular ebook subscription service Scribd announced key updates to its existing iOS and Android apps and the formal launch of its all new app for Windows phones and tablets. Current iOS and Android readers will find a fresh new browse and book page experience as well as new fonts and color palettes. Windows phone and tablet readers will now have access to unlimited reading anytime, anywhere with all the features that mobile web users enjoy. With the launch of the Windows app, paired with existing apps for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and Nook tablets, Scribd has been downloaded more than 6 million times — placing it on more devices in more countries than any other subscription book service. This latest endeavor is part of the companies overarching global commitment to getting people to read more.

19.06.14. 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.

15.05.14. Scribd adds notes and highlights to its reading app. Ebook subscription leader Scribd just made reading experience better. It updated its iOS and Android mobile reader apps with some exciting new features. First is highlighting - you can mark your favorite passages, paragraphs, and quotes – plus share them with your friends. You can also add notes, annotations and ideas as you read. The third new feature is Image Zoom. It allows to zoom in maps and other illustrations for a closer look. Your notes, highlights, and bookmarks automatically sync across all of your mobile devices, and you can view all of them on a per book basis.

19.04.14. 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.

13.02.14. 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.

31.01.14. Scribd takes on Amazon - launches app for Kindle Fire. E-book subscription service Scribd launched a new app for Kindle Fire tablets. And it will provide an alternative to Amazon's own Kindle e-book store. Scribd is already available on iOS and Android devices as well as on the web, but its Kindle Fire app is the first push into e-readers specialized for books. “Since launching our subscription book service, our readers around the world have been asking for an app that worked with Kindle Fire," said Trip Adler, CEO and cofounder of Scribd. "It’s one of the most popular reading devices available today and we want to enable our readers to enjoy Scribd across any of their devices."

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.

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.