The Future of the Ebook
Oyster is on a roll lately. They’ve been signing up new publishers, launching new apps, getting good reviews — they’ve even gotten people to rightfully start calling them the “Netflix for Books.”
To add to all of that, as of this morning Oyster is launching their desktop app, making their books available wherever there’s a working browser tab. Though Read More
Apples and Androids
We don’t care if you’re a professional puppy walker or the Kardashians’ private pilates instructor; there’s no way your job, however amazing it may be, beats the one for which Netflix is currently hiring.
The online streaming giant is on the hunt for someone in the UK or Ireland to join their team of professional taggers, Time reports. In laymen’s terms, taggers are responsible for sitting at home and binge-watching a butt load of Netflix, and then categorizing the stuff they watch with specific tags. Those tags, coupled with Netflix’s super secret algorithms, help Netflix give its users more specific recommendations.
Art Meets Tech
In the war between iOS and Android, there are a few things we know: iPhone users are big spenders, live in more affluent neighborhoods and are vastly outnumbered by their Android counterparts. But now, we also intimate knowledge of their reading habits, which shows us more about their personalities than anything we’ve seen so far.
Oyster, the Netflix for books, released a study of their readers this morning, comparing the reading habits of iOS users with the Android users that have signed up since their recent Android release and redesign. Oyster told Betabeat that they pulled from their entire user database for the study.
Digitizing books and information has big benefits, like worldwide access to data and learning tools, the democratization of publishing and saving some trees along the way. There also seem to be no shortage of projects that want to reverse that trend.
Jesse England, an artist whose work is critical of trends in digital media, Read More
The Future of the Ebook
Another week, another stride for Netflix.
Netflix announced that Chelsea Handler will “revolutionize the talk show” as host of the site’s first original talk program, according to this morning’s press release.
The time in between episode releases and the overall format of the show is unknown, but it is certain that the show Read More
Oyster is fast on its way to claiming the grandiose title of “The Netflix of Books,” contrary to what the haters said. Today, Oyster is moving into the next phase of its plan for subscription book service domination, announcing that the app will finally be available to Android users.
Opening up Oyster to Read More
The overwhelming success of shows such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black has proven that Netflix knows how to bring quality original content to online streaming.
Their next endeavor in original programming — a reimagined and computer-animated The Magic School Bus — is sure to be quite the Read More
Kids These Days
Welcome to Freshly Minted, where we examine an overlooked deal or funding announcement in tech from the past week, and tell you what you need to know, and why it matters.
This week’s deal: Oyster, the Netflix for books, signed a deal with Simon & Schuster that will give Oyster subscribers access to Simon & Schuster’s entire backlist.
Oyster, a service that charges $10 a month for all-you-can-read access to a library of half a million books, just added heavyweight Simon & Schuster to their list of publishers. That makes two of the Big Five companies that dominate the publishing game, and if Oyster can sign on the remaining three publishers, they could take their place among companies like Spotify and Netflix as one of the great subscription titans of the decade.
Epic!, a subscription app for children’s books, just closed a deal with HarperCollins that will give its subscribers access to over 1000 books, including classics like The Chronicles of Narnia, Frog and Toad, and The Secret Garden. This comes on the heels of last night’s announcement that Oyster has signed a similar — but much larger — deal with Simon & Schuster.
Epic! has only been available for two months, and has already landed deals with two of the five top publishers, the other being Simon & Schuster. Epic! cofounder Kevin Donahue says that the appeal of book subscription apps for big publishers is that they can make money off of older books that otherwise wouldn’t even find their way onto shelves.
The one thing more depressing than spending your weekend nights alone in bed watching Sherlock is falling asleep before you even find out how he solves the murder, amiright?
Some Netflix employees have figured out a possible way to solve the highly pressing problem, The Week reports. At an internal company Hack Day last week, a team of five Netflix-ers presented their invention: a customized FitBit wristband that detects when you’ve fallen asleep, pauses whatever show you’re aggressively binge-watching and replaces it with a friendly “Looks like you’ve fallen asleep!” message. When the user returns to Netflix (presumably after a night of Benedict Cumberbatch-filled dreams), they can resume their show from the point at which they previously dozed off.