The "Netflix of Books" dreams just got one step closer to being a reality. Scribd and Oyster launched in 2013, offering access to unlimited books for less than $10 a month. However, the services have struggled to get buy-in from the big publishers. That all changed when Simon & Schuster announced it would make its backlist of about 10,000 ebooks available on both services, as Gigaom reports.
Until now, HarperCollins was the only one of the big five publishers making its ebooks available through this subscription model. What is really interesting about this deal is the way it is structured. Neither Oyster nor Scribd pay a licensing fee for the content. Instead, the publishers get paid when a user downloads and reads a certain amount of the book. The publisher is then paid the amount it would be paid for a normal ebook sale.