Amazon has joined companies such as Oyster and Scribd in the realm of subscription ebooks. The New York Times has pointed out that Amazon's service is missing a lot of important publishers. To some this is surprising, but if you are aware of the fight Amazon has had with Hachette it may not be. I'm curious to see if this feud will deter other publishers and severely limit Amazon's expansion of this service. Or, for the hopes of gaining more revenue, will publishers submit to Amazon's shady tactics and allow their books to be a part of this subscription service?
An interesting point in the New York Times article is when Alexandra Alter writes the following about the competition between Amazon, Oyster, and Scribd:
With similar pricing models, the competition among e-book subscription services could come down to content and what books and authors are included.
It could come down to that, but I also think there is more to it. There is an interesting debate going on right now about whether or not e-books are as effective at communicating to the reader as physical books are. A lot of the issues concern the experience of reading a physical book versus a digital book. Additionally there is a concern about retention of knowledge, which is reportedly lessened when reading an e-book. So while the amount of content may be important now I think that down the line it will also come down to the experience. If you cannot address the issues with e-books through your apps and service and create an enjoyable experience then it doesn't matter how much content you have.