Readfy, a new German start-up is calling itself “Spotify for ebooks,” a title that has many competitors. Unlike other subscription ebook services, however, Readfy is free and will be supported by ads.
Currently, Readfy is an Android-based app with 15,000 ebook titles. The app currently has 3,500 beta testers and has plans to expand to 30,000 titles and to Apple devices in the near future.
The company has so far raised nearly €500,000 ($686,650) through crowdfunding site Companisto, which, unlike U.S.-based platforms like Kickstarter, allow users to invest directly in a company and own a piece of it. The start-up has over 1,000 backers. See the Readfy listing here.
Other ebook subscription start-ups like Oyster, Scribd and 24symbols pay rights-holders a percentage of the overall subscription revenue based on reader usage or a flat fee every time a book is read. It isn’t clear how Readfy plans on compensating authors and publishers.