Simon & Schuster has reached an agreement with subscription e-book services Oyster and Scribd to make 10,000 of its backlist e-books available to subscribers. This is S&S’s first time offering its titles via e-book subscription services.
S&S will supply its global backlist of e-book titles to both subscription services. In return, both services will supply S&S with data on the reading and purchasing activity of Scribd and Oyster subscribers.
Both Oyster ($9.99/month) and Scribd ($8.99/month) offer unlimited access to a library of e-books, across all the major device formats, for a flat monthly fee. Despite initial skepticism about the business model, the major houses are slowly getting involved in subscription services.
After adding titles from the Perseus Book Group and most recently HarperCollins, Oyster now claims to offer more than 500,000 titles to its subscribers, while Scribd claims to offer more than 400,000 titles through its subscription service.
Scribd CEO Trip Adler noted Scribd’s “80 million readers around the world” and said the deal offered a “significant opportunity for publishers and authors to monetize, and for our readers to discover even more books to love.”
“We fundamentally believe the access model will inspire new audiences to discover and read great books, both today and in the future,” Oyster CEO Eric Stromberg said, calling the agreement a “landmark partnership.”
Carolyn Reidy, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, said “Consumers have clearly taken to subscription models for other media, and we expect that our participation in these services will encourage discovery of our books, grow the audience and expand our retail reach for our authors, and create new revenue streams under an author-friendly, advantageous business model for both author and publisher.”