After adding magazines last year, Scribd, the online reading subscription service, is now adding newspapers to its content platform. For the same $8.99 monthly fee. Scribd subscribers will now have access to selected articles from The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian, from among about a dozen news organizations.
Scribd CEO Trip Adler said Scribd's latest content expansion comes in the wake of the service’s first year of profitability. Adler said he expects the service to generate more than $50 million in revenue in 2017, adding that Scribd now has more than 500,000 paying subscribers. Scribd is also redesigning its logo and updating its site.
Adler credited Scribd’s profitability and growing subscriber base to the recent addition of magazine and now newspaper content, all linked to books. He emphasized that linking news/magazine articles to books is “increasing discovery." He said, “we’re continuing to help our publishing and trusted news partners reach new audiences.”
Adler said the news articles added to the Scribd platform will focus on “a selection of diverse content from many different outlets. This includes both national and international stories, as well as coverage from various verticals.” Selected news articles, he said, will focus on “longform evergreen content” and will include hard news as well as cultural coverage.
Adler emphasized that “we’re not trying to be a breaking news site.” He said that the news articles offered via Scribd will be curated by a staff of former journalists, who will “select articles through the lens of presenting a full, 360-degree view to our educated professional consumers.”
In fall 2016 Scribd added magazines content and debuted a new content discovery system organized under more than 16,000 topics of interest. Each topic is collected on a page with links to all related content. A subscriber reading an article in a magazine or newspaper will see links at the bottom of the article to related content in books, audiobooks, documents or other content forms.
Scribd first noted its profitability in the fall of last year. Now after a year of profitability, for the first time the digital subscription service has revealed the size of its subscriber base and is offering revenue projections. This comes after years of adjusting its model. Scribd eliminated some categories, such as comics, reduced offerings of romance titles, and limited the number of titles readers can access while adding new content linked across its content library.
Adler said all of Scribd’s strategic adjustments have been based on offering “Scribd readers the content they want while paying publishers a fair price.” He said “following that ideal on the road to profitability has taken us through several iterations, but that’s how we arrived at where we are today.”