At Last, the "Netflix For Books" Is Here

Analyzing the top news stories across the web
Sept. 7 2013 11:17 AM

At Last, the "Netflix For Books" Is Here

159316000
Oyster allows users to download unlimited books to their iPhone for a $9.95 monthly fee.

Photo by LEO LA VALLE/AFP/Getty Images

This post originally appeared in Business Insider.

By Caroline Moss

Meet Oyster, the book subscription app that wants to do for books what Netflix did for movies and what Spotify did for music; provide an all-you-can-read experience for a monthly fee. For $9.95 a month, you can download and enjoy titles from HarperCollins, Workman, Melville House, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Boasting 100,000 titles so far, Oyster is still working to procure more publishing companies to add to its roster. 

Advertisement

Instead of focusing on a tablet experience to compete with other various e-readers, founders Eric Stromberg, Andrew Brown, and Willem Van Lancker shared on the company blog that they're concentrating on making a seamless app for smartphones.

We’re building Oyster as an end-to-end product created specifically for mobile. Everything from recommendations to the in-book experience allows you to easily reach for books at moments of impulse throughout your day— whether on the subway, waiting for a friend to meet you for coffee, or while relaxing in the park. 

Founders Fund, a team of venture capitalists that includes Peter Thiel and Sean Parker, is Oyster's lead investor in their first round of financing. The app is currently in waitlist mode, a tactic many apps use (remember email app Mailbox?) to build excitement and hype around its launch. It began rolling out invitations yesterday. You can visit Oyster to get yourself on the waiting list.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Damned Spot
Sept. 30 2014 9:00 AM Now Stare. Don’t Stop. The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 30 2014 10:10 AM A Lovable Murderer and Heroic Villain: The Story of Australia's Most Iconic Outlaw
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal. But… What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.