The Netflix for books is here, it’s mobile, and it makes Amazon look old

And no, it's not your library :-)
Today, New York-based startup Oyster is launching the beta version of its iPhone app. (You can request an invite at Oyster’s website). For $9.95 a month, you get unlimited access to the 100,000 titles from a range of publishers, including HarperCollins and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan are so far notably absent from the list of announced partners.) You also see what your friends are reading, get recommendations and staff picks, and find books sorted by curated categories, such as “Sports Stories,” “Business Essentials,” and “Popular Science.” All of this is packed into a highly usable mobile experience.


Apple has at best a 40% market share for smart phones.

That means 60% of smart phone users cannot use this app. This app does not exist until it is available for android for most people.

Given that 309 out of 9,200 public library systems in the U.S. are funded at $9.99/month per capita or more, it's definitely not your library. It's more expensive. It also doesn't do any of the other things a public library does (story hour, reference, other programming, databases, etc., etc.), but hey, it's private industry: It must be better. Right?

Smart phone apps? Ever try reading a book on a phone? Tablets yes. There you need an app for iOS, Android, Windows, and Kindle (Is Amazon doing something similar?). Publishers will fight this to the death, which is the direction they seem to be headed anyway.

I read books on my iPod Touch (using apps) all the time . Usually several a week and I have absolutely no issues with it. In fact, it's incredibly convenient as I always have my library in my pocket. I use the iBooks app, Kindle, Kobo and Overdrive.

Well there will be faster creation of Android phones when everyone uses the same OS as each other. Having to cater for a wild range of possible issues with older versions, not being able to rely on everyone having the latest update means that it is a lot harder to create an Android app compared to an IOD app.

And anyway, this is a start-up, something you have to ask to sign up to and something that is new. Give them a bloody chance ;)

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