Oyster, which offers an ebook subscription service similar to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, announced the launch of its web and mobile web reader Thursday.
“Knowing that about a third of ebook readers regularly read on the web, we’ve had our sights set on this launch for some time,’’ said Oyster CEO Eric Stromberg in a statement.
Oyster had not previously offered a web interface. Kindle Unlimited, on the other hand, can be accessed through numerous devices, including iPhones, Androids, Mac and Windows computers, and several tablets.
With its new web and mobile reader, Oyster may be catching up to Amazon.
The launch comes at a critical time for Oyster. Analysts have suggested that Kindle Unlimited, which was unveiled to much fanfare last Friday, might edge out Oyster, which offers an almost identical service.
Both companies give subscribers access to hundreds of thousands of ebook titles—Amazon for $9.99 every month, and Oyster, for $9.95. Oyster, like Amazon, carries some big name books, such as The Great Gatsby and Steve Jobs, as well as many lesser known titles.
Despite offering similar content, Oyster lacks the massive consumer base that Amazon has cultivated since it launched two decades ago. It also lacked the extensive list of web and mobile readers accessible on phones, tablets, and computers that Amazon provides—until now.
Last month, Oyster debuted its Android platform, which lets subscribers scroll through books as one continuous page. About 35 percent of Oyster users now rely on Androids to access ebooks, the company says.
Oyster says that there are more than 3,000,000 pages read on Oyster every day.