Oyster's Matthew Shatz on Helping Publishers Tap Next Generation of Readers
As a sidebar, in my mind it is somewhat analogous to where ebooks were in 2008. The Kindle was out, it was gaining some traction, but it was a small piece of the business. Still, it was clear that readers wanted it. I think publishers then may not have loved every aspect about ebooks, but they came to realize that they are far better off with products like this that allow readers to consume in a mobile way.
What stats do you have on the average Oyster user?
It is fair to say that we definitely skew younger and more male than the other leading ebook platforms out there. On average, Oyster users are reading 45 minutes a day, and they are using the iPad and iPhone fairly evenly to consume content -- about a 50-50 split as far as time spent on each device.
Is the publisher-reader relationship changing and how is Oyster part of that change?
I spent five-plus years running the digital business at Random House. I have a good handle on the publisher's view. Publishers have initially been focused on a) knowing what readers want and b) ensuring that writers reach the widest audience possible. I think that is unchanged in the digital and mobile world for publishers. Those are still the core things they do, but how they do that has changed a lot.
One place that Oyster fits into that is we are going to be in the position to share a lot of interesting data with publishers, and we are going to do a lot more of that going forward. Analytics are a huge part of a publishers' business going forward, and in a consumer-oriented world, publishing must be an analytics-focused business.
What sets Oyster apart from other ebook subscription platforms?
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