Oyster Launches Netflix For Books
More and more we are transforming into society of subscribers. Netflix NFLX +0.89% gives us endless, on demand movies and TV. Spotify does the same trick for music. And even though libraries have done this for books, for free, for more than a century, so far there’s hasn’t been a digital, all you can eat subscription platform for books. Start-up Oyster is changing that.
Today Oyster launches its iPhone platform giving users 100,000 titles, from publishers like HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Workman and self-publishing giant Smashwords , for $9.95 a month. An iPad version will be released later this fall.
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The simple, made-for-mobile app was created by tech veterans Eric Stromberg, Andrew Brown and Willem Van Lancker just last summer. In a year the team not only built the product but, more impressively, was able to seal deals with some publishing heavyweights. Stromberg, who cut his start-up teeth at eCommerce company Hunch, spent three months working with lawyers, authors and publishers to craft workable contract. Meantime Brown, who was a product manager at Google GOOG +0.96%’s DoubleClick division, built the tech platform. Van Lancker, the former lead designer for Google Maps, crafted the user interface. The three founders used their tech connections to raise $3 million from Peter Thiel‘s Founders Fund, Chris Dixon, SV Angel and Shari Redstone.