Friday, November 21, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Scribd and Oyster Apps Receive Titles from 'Big 5' Book Publisher Simon & Schuster

By John Nassivera | May 22, 2014 03:14 PM EDT

Simon & Schuster Titles Available for Scribd and Oyster
Simon & Schuster Inc., one of the “Big 5” trade book publishers, announced Wednesday that its backlist e-book titles will be made available on the e-book subscription services Scribd and Oyster. (Photo : Creative Commons)

Simon & Schuster Inc., one of the "Big 5" trade book publishers, announced Wednesday that its backlist titles will be made available on e-book subscription services Scribd and Oyster.

Both Oyster and Scribd have been referred to as the "Netflix of books", according to PC Magazine.

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Subscribers to these two services will have access to over 10,000 titles from Simon & Schuster, along with books written by Dan Brown, Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, and other authors.

Scribd offers over 400,000 titles for $8.99 a month, The Wall Street Journal reported. Oyster currently offers over 500,000 titles for $9.95 a month.

Carolyn Reidy, chief executive of Simon & Schuster, said the deals with the two services are "an experiment, but it's a serious experiment."

Simon & Schuster is a division of CBS Corporation, CNET reported.

The publisher's older, less current e-book titles will be available to consumers in all countries where the publisher holds e-book rights and where Oyster and Scribd's subscription services are offered.

Oyster was launched as an invite-only service last September, and started with 100,000 books in its library, PC Magazine reported. The e-book subscription service added content from HarperCollins, another one of the "Big 5", to its online library earlier this month.

Scribd was launched in October and started with content from HarperCollins, E-Reads, Red Wheel/Weiser, Rosetta Books, Kensington, Sourcebooks, and Workman. Recent additions included travel books from Lonely Planet and titles from Wiley, the publisher of the "For Dummies" series.

Both companies said their subscription services grant titles a second chance to be read, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"At retail, people use search to find titles they already want," said Trip Adler, CEO of Scribd. "In subscription, people are finding books they wouldn't otherwise read."

Eric Stromberg, CEO of Oyster, said during an interview that the company is looking to bring in more publishers this year, CNET reported.

"For us, this deal represents a tipping point for the access model in books, and a huge leap forward toward our goal of making Oyster the best place in the world to ready any book," Stromberg said. "We do expect to bring on a number of other major publishers through 2014."

Simon & Schuster is a huge deal for Oyster and Scribd, featuring work from other authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Heller, David McCullough, Mary Higgins Clark, and Walter Isaacson, the biographer for Steve Jobs.

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