Oyster has already established a compelling elevator pitch: “Netflix for books.” Pay a monthly fee, get access to an unlimited number of 100,000 titles available in Oyster’s app. The app is beautifully designed and certainly rivals that of Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iBooks version. But whether its business model is as much of a threat, and whether it lives up to the Netflix legacy it’s brought on itself, is another matter.
Right now, the Oyster app is limited to an iPhone-oriented version, though iPad and Android versions are in the works. The app already adopts the iOS 7 design touches, with flat, delicately drawn icons and plenty of white space. When users first open the app, it asks them to pick five books to drive the first batch of recommendations.