Scribd has unveiled its "send-to-device" feature that allows consumers to send the more than 10 million documents on the site directly to their e-reader and smart phones. The company also launched mobile APIs, or Scribd Open Content Platform for E-Readers and mobile devices (SCOPED), which will enable device companies to provide users a more integrated experience with Scribd.com's search, social and other functions on the devices-in effect creating a Scribd button on them.
The new products fit in with Scribd strategy to make as much content as possible available in an open platform and available in any way the consumer chooses to read it, explained Tammy Nam, Scribd's v-p of content and marketing. "So far the conversation has been focused on the e-reader," said Nam. "But people are not asking the right question. They focus on the device, when actual people just care about the content." Scribd's "send to" allows readers to send documents to any device ranging from dedicated to mobile devices including iPhone, Android-powered and other smart phones.
Scribd has over 50 million users and over 10 million documents on its site ranging from term papers to full-length books, available for free or for a fee as part of its Scribd store. The "send to" feature works with only DRM-free books and chapters, supplied by publishers like Lonely Planet and O'Reilly, and does not work with DRM-protected work from most of the major houses. Scribd plans to make PDF files available in the EPUB format as well. For those publisher or authors not willing to make their entire work DRM-free, Nam said the new products provide the opportunity to distribute things such as supplemental material.
Scribd is not charging for these services, but fees may be applicable from device manufacturers and cell phone providers. During a recent demonstration at Scribd's San Francisco office files ranging from straight text to illustrated children's books appeared almost instantly on an iPhone and Kindle using the "send to" feature.
"Today's launch of our send-to-device feature and mobile API represents a major step forward in our strategy to provide open access to Scribd content," said Scribd co-founder and CEO Trip Adler.
Scribd will likely be providing more mobile reading options going forward.