Oyster, an on-demand digital book service that offers unlimited books for $10 per month, was just released as an invite-only service last week. The current service is available for the iPhone only, but tablet apps are coming soon.
Unlike Amazon’s Prime membership which caused $79 per year, users can read and check out unlimited books per month. While Oyster doesn’t have the selection that Amazon’s lending library has, voracious readers may appreciate the freedom that comes with unlimited downloads.
Media Consumption Goes Digital
Will these types of consumable media services become more and more popular in the future? Zinio is a growing online magazine service that lets users subscribe to digital editions of their favorite magazines, including Forbes and Cosmopolitan.
Another monthly media service, Audible (which is owned by Amazon), offers audiobook downloads for $14.95 per month. The service offers over 150,000 titles and users can listen to titles on their computer, tablet, or smartphone.
In addition, music listening services like Spotify and Pandora One are making it possible to stream music without having to buy CDs or MP3s. This not only cuts down on storage hassles but can give consumers a bigger music selection at a fraction of the price.
With many digital media options becoming more available to consumers, even libraries are jumping on the train. The Johnson County Library in Kansas City offers three free music downloads to library card holders through Freegal Music and offer eAudiobooks and eBooks for checkout by patrons.
With the slow transition to digital media becoming more mainstream, libraries and bookstores will have to figure out ways to stay relevant.