January 14, 2014 Last Updated 9:34 am

eBook subscription service Oyster gets big infusion of funding from Highland Capital Partners

Additional $14 million is big endorsement of subscription model that has some publishing houses leery

The eBook subscription service Oyster got a major investment this week, a $14 million endorsement from Highland Capital Partners, the company announced on its blog.

Oyster-iPhone-screenOyster currently offers over 100,000 titles from 500 publishers. Book offerings are available on an unlimited basis for $9.95 per month. Media reporters call the service the Netflix for books, which the company no doubt likes. It could also be called the Next Issue for books, I suppose.

The service only works on iOS devices, and publishers must use reflowable ePub for book files, and textbooks and periodicals are not accepted. That limits things a bit, which is typical for the eBook industry where formats and devices are just as noninterchangeable as they are with digital magazines and newspapers.

For those visiting the Oyster website for the first time, one might be struck that the service never uses the word eBook, preferring to simply call their offerings books.

The Oyster iOS app is called Oyster – Read Unlimited Books, which keeps the Oyster name unused for the future. The app was last updated in mid-December and user reviews remain overwhelmingly positive and numerous enough to conclude that the app is doing very well indeed. A few readers have lamented the lack of Kindle support and the title selection and diversity, though.