Oyster launches e-book store

Oyster launches e-book store

Oyster has launched an online e-book store in the US.

The subscription company, which started out in September 2013 charging $9.95 a month for unlimited e-books, has now expanded into online retail, launching an e-book store where customers can pay for individual titles.

While only S&S, HarperCollins and Macmillan are signed up to its e-book subscription service, Scribd's store offers books from all the "Big Five" US publishers - Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. 

A spokesperson for Oyster told The Bookseller that the retail store had only opened in the US to begin with but that “international expansion is something we have on our radar for this year.”

Oyster c.e.o Eric Stromberg said: “The growth of Oyster to date demonstrates the huge demand in the market for a product with design and user experience at its core, offering a totally new way to discover and read books. We know that readers want to see all of their options and access every book—subscription and retail—in one place. With this launch, we’re pairing the best in subscription with the best in e-book retail to deliver a comprehensive offering for readers.”

Oyster said it has built a “growing” user base reading over 100 million pages each month, up from 8 million in December 2013. 

HarperCollins chief digital officer Chantal Restivo-Alessi said: “Since the launch of its subscription service in September 2013, Oyster has shown itself to be an innovative player in the e-book market. HarperCollins looks forward to growing its relationship with Oyster as it expands the choices it offers consumers.”

The Bookseller reported last week that Hachette UK c.e.o Tim Hely Hutchinson dismissed the e-book subscription model, saying he “doesn’t believe” in it, while Hachette chairman Arnaud Nourry condemned the model as “flawed” and “absurd”.