Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Can Oyster Be The Spotify Of Books ?

While Amazon launched its own lending library on top of its Amazon Prime service, there’s still an opportunity for other competitors to create a Spotify or Netflix for books. That’s the hope of New York City-based Oyster, a new startup which announced today it has raised $3 million led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.

The company is preparing a mobile app that will allow users to get unlimited access to a library of books for one monthly price. The app will combine discovery with access and reading, so users will be able to get recommendations and immediately begin reading. The app was designed from the ground up to optimize the reading experience on mobile devices.

The app will feature a growing catalog of books, from national best sellers to classics, both fiction and non-fiction.  Oyster is looking at working directly with publishers, not with authors. The app is being tested right now with a small number of users.


Stromberg said there’s no date for the launch of the app and no price yet. He said he wants to create a social environment that lets people recommend books to each other, similar to how Spotify users can share their tastes with others. And Oyster will also work in the background to learn from a user’s tastes and habits to suggest other books. Stromberg will be relying on his experience at Hunch, which provided personalization and recommendation services to companies.


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