Scribd this week announced a change to its subscription service that executives say will enable the company to expand and offer a wider variety of titles.
Under the new plan, Scribd's subscription service will essentially be a hybrid offering. Monthly subscribers will be issued Monthly Read credits that will enable them to read three e-books and one audiobook every month from the full Scribd library, while still being able to read an unlimited number of books from Scribd Selects, a rotating selection of titles. There will be no change in the service’s $8.99 monthly price. In addition, monthly users will be able to roll over unused credits, so that those who read less than three books in a month can read more titles in subsequent months.
In terms of what goes into the limited and unlimited offerings, titles will be chosen based on terms reached with publishing partners, as well as seasonal and topical relevance as determined by the Scribd merchandising team. Titles will rotate on a monthly basis.
The new terms will go into effect sometime in mid-March, although no exact date has been set. Scribd executives said subscribers will get at least 30 days notice before the new model goes into effect.
The changes come as subscription services revamp after the high profile collapse of subscription service Oyster last year. In July of last year, Scribd also announced that it would scale back its offering in certain genres, including romance, where voracious “power readers” were consuming titles at an unsustainable rate.
Scribd CEO Trip Adler says that the company decided to make the change only after reaching out to Scribd users for feedback, and noted that Scribd’s data shows that 97% of its customers read less than three books per month, and will likely not be negatively affected by the change.
Adler told PW that the subscription service is doing well, and is growing. In December, the company announced three new categories to its e-book subscription service: sheet music; science, technical and medical titles; and Sesame Street titles.