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Oyster, the “Netflix of books,” is closing its doors

by Todd Haselton | September 22, 2015September 22, 2015 6:00 pm PST


I never really had much of a chance to try Oyster, which often dubbed itself the “Netflix of books.” It allowed folks to pay a $9.95 monthly subscription fee and then read the books — the company had a library of more than 1 million — on a tablet or smartphone. For folks who particularly liked a certain book, there was also the option to buy them. Unfortunately, the service is now shutting down.

Oyster said this week that, despite what it feels is “incredible progress” in its field, it’s going to “sunset the existing Oyster service over the next several months.” Existing accounts will continue to operate normally until then, Oyster said, and it will begin to update users on the next steps in the coming weeks. According to Re/code, however, some of the Oyster team is heading to Google where they’ll work on the Google Play Books team.

Re/code said this doesn’t really mean that Google acquired Oyster and, instead, it seems more of an “acqhire” since Google has the “right to hire some of its staff” after paying off Oyster’s investors. Either way, the Netflix of books is closing its doors.

Oyster Re/code

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...