Subscription book service Oyster to close as top brass heads for Google

Oyster, the popular subscription service dubbed the “Netflix of books,” is to close, the company’s founders have announced.

The two-year-old service will be gradually shuttered over the course of the next few months, with the company pledging to honour refund requests.

The somewhat surprising decision comes as the co-founders and chief executive all head to work on the Google Play Bookstore (via Wired).

So, we’re probably looking at a Google aqui-hire, with Oyster falling by the wayside as a result.

In a statement, the founders claimed the move to Google will give them more chance to fulfil their vision for ebooks.

In a blog post they wrote: “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 ebooks.”

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Oyster had garnered the support of all five major book publishers and was proving a hit with consumers, so it’s surprising Google isn’t seeking to incorporate the service in some way.

The departure of Oyster will leave the market to Amazon Kindle Unlimited and Scribd.

What Google’s plans for the team behind Oyster remains to be seen.

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