Last month saw the announcement of the closure of another online service that I have been using. This time it is Readmill the ebook service that consisted of a reading app for iOS and Android devices and a social network for sharing the reading experience.
As with the closure of Editorially announced in February, Readmill was, in my view, a well designed product which sadly seems to have failed because of the lack of a sustainable business model.
I am not as upset with Readmill’s closure than I was with Editorially as I was only really using a part of the service. I wasn’t particularly interested in the sharing and community aspects. The reason I signed up was that I wanted an app that allowed me to read and organise my ebooks, that provided a good user experience, and that was an alternative to Apple’s iBook app and the Kindle/Amazon service. This I thought Readmill did well.
The ebook market place is currently not as open as it should be with two dominant players and the confusion of proprietary formats and DRM implementations. I am concerned that Readmill’s demise hasn’t helped this. I also now need to find an alternative solution.
However, there is something of a silver lining. The announcement of the closure of Readmill included this;
Our team will be joining Dropbox, where our expertise in reading, collaboration and syncing across devices finds a fitting home. Millions of people use Dropbox to store and share their digital lives, and we believe it’s a strong foundation on which to build the future of reading. We’re delighted to work alongside this talented team and imagine new ways to read together.
Dropbox is a sustainable business and has considerable clout. If as this suggests it is looking to do more to develop features for ebook readers then I would welcome this. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of this.