Spotify changed the way we listen to music and now Oyster is changing the way we read digital books. Yesterday Oyster launched its unlimited eBook access service at a fixed price of $9.95 per month.
Currently Oyster is offering access to 100,000 books, namely because many publishers aren’t too sold on the service just yet. This low fixed price sounds like a bargain at first, but for many Americans they may end up spending more than usual for this service.
Forbes reports that according the Pew, the median number of books read by Americans in the last year was six or seven. With the Amazon fixed price of $9.99 per book, it’s seems a better bargain for the average reader to just stick with the standard purchasing model.
However, for voracious readers, Oyster may be their ticket to dwindling down their reading budget while still preserving their bibliophilic nature.
I can definitely see the appeal to this service. For readers like myself who skip around to different texts throughout the week and has pages dog-eared in upwards of five books at a time. I wouldn’t feel so guilty purchasing books that I never get around to finishing.
However, I think the service has its limits as far as the audience willing to commit to this payment. A large majority of Americans listen to music everyday. That’s why Spotify is so incredible. But not everyone reads on a daily or even weekly basis.
And, again, they have to sell themselves to the publishers. So far, they aren’t really biting.
As far as the current selection, it looks pretty reasonable. They may not have everything you’d want to read at the time, but Oyster did get some large publishers to hand over eBooks including HarperCollins, Workman, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.