Those who like to read digitally have likely heard of Oyster, the monthly subscription service geared towards avid readers. At $9.99/month, getting the most out of Oyster is easy if you read one or more books monthly. If you don’t, you might have wondered why you’re subscribing — why not just buy books as needed? It’s a crossroads many have found themselves at, but you no longer have to leave Oyster if you’re not interested in subscribing. Today, Oyster is launching an eBook marketplace, where you can buy digital copies of books.
Titles won’t be discounted, though. Oyster says their offerings will still cost between $9.99 and $14.99, which is standard eBook pricing.
The immediate question is if Oyster can now get those on Amazon, Nook, or iBooks over to their market place; leaving their comfort zone to read via Oyster. A subscription model was clever and handy, but ultimately appealed to a niche market.
The books can be purchased via Oyster’s website or through their Android app. You can’t buy books via Oyster’s iOS app, likely because they don’t want to cut Apple in on the sale.
Oyster has a big library of content, and the ebook store is likely a byproduct of Amazon’s dust-up over eBook pricing last year with publisher Hachette. Out of that came more standard eBook pricing, which lets Oyster compete on an even field.
While Oyster allows authors to upload titles in EPUB format, they’re not tied into hardware that makes good use of that. To really see EPUB shine, an eInk screen is best, but outside of the Yotaphone, we’re not sure there’s an eInk device that can run Android apps.