Entitle, a Wilmington, North Carolina company with just five full-time employees, is taking on the e-book arm of a little company called Amazon.
Founded by Bryan Batten with a $US5.3 million angel investment, Entitle functions as something of a Netflix of e-books. Users can download two, three, or four e-books per month for $US14.99, $US21.99, or $US27.99, respectively.
Our favourite part of the service: you get to keep your books. They don’t disappear from your device because Entitle has worked it out with publishers such that you own the books you acquire through the service, reading them right inside the Entitle app.
Entitle boasts a little over 100,000 titles in its collection, ranging from classics all the way up to the latest Stephen King novel. New titles will become available through Entitle pretty much as soon as they’re released by publishers.
Further bolstering the Netflix comparison, Entitle’s book recommendation software is impressive, built on artificial intelligence technology — it actually “reads” books, understanding and identifying characteristics of the books you like, then making recommendations based similarities to other books. The system continues to learn as people interact with books, gauging the speed at which they read and assessing the books in their download queue. In short, it gets smarter and smarter the more you use it.
Batten told Business Insider that “[Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos probably doesn’t know who we are, and we’re fine with that. It’s fun and exhilarating to take them on, but it’s daunting at the same time. They’re one of the biggest companies in the world, but as a smaller company, we’re nimble and able to move quickly.”
Batten predicts that paper books are nowhere near going out of style, suggesting that the market share will ultimately hover around 50% paper books, 50% e-books. He hopes that Entitle will help create some excitement in the reading space, which has been largely unchanged for hundreds of years.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.