The challenge for isn’t just getting a lot of books but getting the new, popular titles. Oyster and its competitors are often compared to Netflix, and when people complain about the selection on Netflix, they care less about how many movies are available total, and more about whether Netflix has the specific movies that they’re looking for.
Oyster co-founder and CEO Eric Stormberg told media that he isn’t focused on new releases, but instead on “recent releases.” In other words, he’s hoping to get books into Oyster about three months after their initial publication.
Stromberg said that the fact that the company is expanding his deals with publishers and bringing on new ones is a sign that the numbers are good.
Stromberg gave insight about the emergence of competing services like Scribd and Entitle. He said the team is staying focused on two things — having the best selection and providing a well-designed reading experience.
On the selection front, Stromberg noted that when he looked at the 100 most popular titles on Oyster, about half of them aren’t available on competing services: “That’s a really great signal to us that our titles are unique and appealing to our subscribers.”
Oyster is currently available for iOS devices, but Stromberg said it will launch an Android app later this year.