Netflix changed the way many people watch videos when the company started offering the ability to stream as many TV shows and movies as you’d like for as little as $8 per month. Now a company called Oyster wants to do something similar with eBooks.

Here’s the pitch: You pay $9.95 per month and you can read any book in the Oyster library at any time. At launch Oyster offers 100,000 eBooks and they’re all books you would normally have to pay for (not free titles from Charles Dickens and Jane Austen).

The only catch is that right now Oyster is only available for iOS, and you need an invite to join the service.


This isn’t the first subscription-based eBook service. For instance Amazon Prime subscribers get access to 350,00 books in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for $79 per year — and they also get access to thousands of streaming movies and TV shows and free 2-day shipping on orders.

But Amazon only lets Prime members borrow one book per month form its library. Oyster lets you read as much as you can.

On the one hand, it might seem a bit odd to pay $2 per month more to read books than to stream videos from Netflix. After all, you can probably get through far more movies in a month than books — but if you’re the sort of person that normally buys more than a few bucks a month at full price, Oyster can save you a lot of money.

Unfortunately, like Netflix, Spotify, and other subscription-based media service, you don’t actually get to keep anything you’ve paid for. If you stop paying the monthly subscription, all of your books go away.

If you don’t often re-read books, that’s probably not a big deal. But if you like to revisit books again and again you’ll either have to keep paying, or buy your eBooks from another store.

via GigaOm

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8 replies on “Oyster introduces Netflix for eBooks: All-you-can-read for $10 per month”

    1. Kind of… but you don’t have to return or renew a book if you haven’t finished it in three weeks and there are no late fees.

      1. Oh yeah, and you don’t have to put yourself on a waiting list if someone else has checked out the book you want. But the big one for me is no late fees – I tend to avoid checking out 800+ page books from the library, because I have no idea if I’ll finish them in time.

  1. Yeah right… “We’re sorry, the content you requested is not available in your region.” Idiots. We want to give them our money, but they won’t let us.

  2. Honestly, I would go for this over Prime if I can move the books to my e-reader. Amazon makes it so hard: 1 book a month (not enough) and I can only use it on my kindle, not even on my kindle app for my phone.

    1. Now these (Amazon) are the guys that need to step up to the plate and do this right….Before Apple does.

  3. Love this trend to stop selling stuff and turn everything into a revenue stream! Not.

    So we are supposed to pay for Netflix to watch movies and some back catalog tv, Hulu Plus for new TV and other back catalog, Spotify, Pandora or Sirius/XM if we want to listen to music, these guys if we want to read books and Gamefly to play games. And of course the insane monthly Internet/phone fees, the cable/Sat TV fees. And with no effort that list of monthly subscriptions could be doubled. Just how much of the GDP of the industrialized world does big media think they can get us to fork over to be entertained. Poorly.

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