Oyster, the startup seeking to be the "Netflix for e-books" by offering unlimited reading for a monthly fee, says its story is coming to an end.

The announced in a blog late Monday it "will be taking steps to sunset the existing Oyster service over the next several months."

Oyster readers will be informed about the shutdown over the next few weeks, the statement said.

The Oyster blog said the company launched "with a simple idea to build a better way to read on mobile," and that "we've made incredible progress towards that goal."

"We look forward to sharing more details soon, but rest assured, your account will continue to operate normally in the meantime," the company said.

Oyster launched in 2013 with a $9.95 monthly plan for a wide selection of books—but without most top-selling titles—a deal similar to that of Netflix's streaming video service.

It later allowed users to purchase best-selling e-books directly from its website.

But it faced tough competition from Amazon—which offers a similar subscription service—and from other digital book providers including Apple, Google and Barnes & Noble.

The news website Re/code reported that Google had hired some members of the Oyster team, in preparation for a possible subscription service through Google Play Books.