You know what Kindle Unlimited is, right? And maybe even Scribd? They’re book subscription services. They’re really the only players in the business at the moment. And I imagine it staying that way for some time.
Oyster was the third player, and now they’re no more. Which isn’t surprising when you really think about it. Are people really clamoring to read the books available in these subscription services? I don’t think so. And the Big 5 contracts they did have only allowed for them to list older titles. Quite frankly, I think the idea of a book subscription service is pretty dumb. I’m not into reading current titles, but I know SO many people are. They want to read books released in the last year or two. Not something from 1997. Once they couldn’t get significant deals with the major publishers, they should have realized what would ultimately happen. How many people does it take to see that Oyster was doomed from the start? I don’t have an answer.
There is a positive. The founders are headed to Google. So there’s that.
What do you think of Oyster shutting down? I’ve expected it to happen since I first found out about them. The service just isn’t something I think people want.
On this day in 2014 I published Take Your Pick: Hardcovers v. Paperbacks.
4 thoughts on “Oyster Has Shut Down”
If this were another market, I would lament the lack of competition. However, I think Amazon as a company plays very fairly even without competition, so I don’t mind so much. I never even heard of Oyster and it sounds like their business model wasn’t the greatest.
I do like Kindle Unlimited though, even if you don’t get the appeal of a book subscription service. There are a surprising number of books on there from classic authors or authors I’ve wanted to check out (I found a book of 30 short stories by Philip K Dick on there yesterday. Super stoked to get to that one!). KU also has a lot of nonfiction, and a lot of books by self-published authors I’m friends with, so I can read their work without any financial investment.
They do. Unless you hate them. Then everything they do is the end of the world as we know it. Kindle Unlimited has no Big 5 contracts and they still do okay. Either they know what they’re doing or I have no idea.
Never heard of Oyster. But it’s not surprising. Amazon is a powerhouse, and Scribd is pretty popular, too. Maybe they’ll have some cool ideas over at Google.
Maybe. But Google Books has disappointed thus far