Oyster CEO Eric Stromberg On Leading The Ebook Subscription Space
Still, there are several publishers who question the subscription model. Caroline Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, said at Digital Book World 2014 that she had not signed on with Oyster due to "unresolved questions about how to avoid devaluing books and cannibalizing sales". To those in doubt like Reidy, Stromberg says it's a matter of education. As Oyster continues to build out the subscription market, it hopes to show publishers that the demand and sales are there, and that ultimately subscription is the future of reading.
However, Stromberg is mum on the specific details about the revenue publishers can expect from signing up with Oyster. In lieu of this, Stromberg offers an example of one partner's success, a publisher that recently released part of its catalog on Oyster. The publisher saw that within the first few months 90% of its titles had been read with a fairly even distribution. "It wasn't just the top ten titles being read," said Stromberg, "And they since have added even more books on Oyster."
Oyster plans to announce a few other big changes in the coming months, not least of which is its long-awaited Android app. As of now, Oyster is only available on the iPad and iPhone. The subscription service also plans to add greater social and personalized options to the app so that users can easily share what they're reading on various social networks.