Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), (NASDAQ:GOOGL) appears to have plans in motion to enrich its e-book component, Google Play Books. Building a formidable e-book subscriptions team seems to be on the online giant’s agenda. On Monday, Google was reported to be acquiring executives from rising e-books start-up Oyster. The news came as Oyster announced its own plans to shut down within the coming months.
Oyster Closes Down
After over 2 years of providing over 1 million book titles online, Oyster is preparing to close down its business. The firm announced on its blog on Monday that it will no longer offer its e-book services within a few months. The company gave no official reason for why it will be closing down.
“We know that readers want to see all of their options and access every book – subscription and retail – in one place.” Oyster CEO Eric Stromberg said in April. “The growth of Oyster to date demonstrates the huge demand in the market for a product with design and user experience at its core, offering a totally new way to discover and read books.”
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Oyster is not alone at the top of the e-book subscriptions business. Though the sector is not at all crowded, the firm competes with the likes of Scribd and Amazon. These entities offer similar services at similar prices. Scribd also offers thousands of audio books.
Oyster offers titles from great publishers like Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollis. The entity has made headway in the industry and is often referred to as the Netflix of e-books. It has even landed e-book exclusive titles like the Harry Potter series. The firm claims to be now set on further revolutionizing mobile reading. And perhaps it feels that this would best be achieved with a new start.
“As we continue on, we couldn’t be more excited about the future of e-books and mobile reading.” Oyster writes. “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 realize our vision for e-books.”
Google Inc. Buys Oyster Employees
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is said to have already hired a portion of the Oyster team. The company has avoided buying the e-book provider directly. It has instead opted to acquire Oyster in worker components. Oyster’s CEO and co-founders are already on board with Google. The online giant is said to be working on paying investors for the right to hire more Oyster workers. This will be done to build a strong Google Play Books team.
Currently, Google Play offers e-book purchases. It does not, however, offer a subscription service. Collecting Oyster workers could suggest that Google wishes to rival with the likes of Amazon more directly. The search engine giant is likely to enter into an online reading venture where users subscribe in order to gain access to content. Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has declined to give any details.