Oyster, the subscription e-book service, announced Wednesday that it will be doing something that's a little bit retro: selling e-books the old-fashioned way, just one at a time.
Since its launch in 2013, Oyster has founded its brand — and earned the auspicious nickname "Netflix of books" — on a monthly payment model not unlike an all-you-can-eat buffet. Now, if readers would like to order just one of those dishes, so to speak, they can. Oyster has expanded its service to include an e-bookstore, which can also be accessed by those without a subscription.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Oyster CEO Eric Stromberg said the move into retail is a response to the shifting habits of readers. As more people have begun to read their e-books on tablets and phones — not just dedicated e-readers — they are less tied to specific platforms to buy those digital books, Stromberg tells the Journal. In turn, he says, this opens doors for retailers.