The ebook subscription service Oyster just caught the biggest shark in kids entertainment: Disney. The company announced on its blog that it's partnering with Disney Publishing and is rolling out a new children's category. Live today on Oyster's mobile apps, the new category means subscribers will have unlimited access to 100 titles from Disney that include properties like Toy Story, Cars, and the Disney Princesses.
Oyster CEO Eric Stromberg told GigaOm that there are over 10,000 children's books in its library of over 100,000 in-copyright ebooks. Some of the titles perviously listed under the Young Adult category, like Curious George and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, have been moved into the children's category. The vertical also offers some picture books, but most of the titles will be primarily text-based.
"We’re committed to expanding our offerings for young readers."
This is a huge win for Oyster — Disney is the biggest publishing house it's partnered with since HarperCollins, and Disney is an even bigger deal in the hearts of many kids and families. Having a library stocked with Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and other famous characters could entice parents to give the service a shot, which charges $9.95 per month for unlimited access to its ebook library. Oyster still has the limitation of its app only being available on iPhones and iPads, but an Android app is slated to arrive later this year. Oyster's children's vertical will also have to compete against companies like Amazon, which offers its own children's entertainment subscriptions starting at $2.99 per month for unlimited access to a library of children’s ebooks, apps, movies, and games on Kindle Fire tablets.