Oyster, the 'Netflix for books,' shuts down its service

OysterEric Stromberg (co-Founder and CEO), Willem Van Lancker (co-Founder and CPO), Andrew Brown (co-Founder and CTO) of Oyster

When Oyster launched two years ago, the small start-up was supposed to be taking a big swing at Amazon’s book monopoly with its unlimited reading plan for $US9.95 a month. Now, it is saying goodbye to that dream

Oyster, the e-book subscription service often referred to as the “Netflix for books,” announced in a blog post that it will be “sunsetting its service” over the next few months.

“As we continue on, we couldn’t be more excited about the future of ebooks and mobile reading. We believe more than ever that the phone will be the primary reading device globally over the next decade — enabling access to knowledge and stories for billions of people worldwide. Looking forward, we feel this is best seized by taking on new opportunities to fully realise our vision for ebooks,” the startup wrote.

It’s not clear from the post if the startup is shutting down entirely or pivoting into a new direction. Business Insider has reached out for a comment and will update when we hear back.

The startup had signed on all of the Big Five publishers as well as a bunch of smaller houses to give its readers more than one million titles. When Business Insider interviewed the cofounders in April, they were still thinking long term.

“We want to be the Amazon of the next 10 years,” cofounder Willem Van Lacker said at the time. “We want to build the company that takes e-books into the next wave.”

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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