In the latest expansion of its content offerings, Scribd, an online reading subscription service, is partnering with the New York Times to bundle digital access to the NYT with Scribd’s book, audiobook and periodical content for a monthly fee of $12.99.
The Scribd/NYT joint subscription for $12.99 per month begins today. The joint subscription offers unlimited access to more than a million book, audiobook, and newspaper and magazine articles via Scribd, and to NYTimes.com, the NYT digital archive and the NYT app. The new offering is the latest effort to expand content offerings at Scribd, which has added audiobooks and selected magazine and newspaper content to its platform over the last four years.
Scribd CEO Trip Adler said the regular fee for access to Scribd content alone remains $8.99 per month. He also noted that the online reading subscription service has more than 800,000 paid subscribers, about 100 million monthly web visitors and described its users as “educated professionals aged 25-45.”
NYT managing director, marketing partnerships Russell Kern said the aim of the new partnership is to “attract new subscribers; we have a lot of readers who don’t subscribe to the NYT and we hope they’ll see the value in this offer.” NYT v-p, B2B partnerships Dork Alahydoian said the NYT has 3.8 million print and digital subscribers and about 2.9 million digital subscribers.
Kern noted that Scribd began offering selected NYT content in 2017 including the Essential Student Bundle, a four month student subscription for a semester: “We wanted to test their platform and it has worked well. We like what they’re doing. Scribd’s global reach is attractive; their audience is engaged and likes to read and that aligns with the audience for the New York Times.”
Kern also acknowledged that the offer—which targets new subscribers—risks encouraging older NYT subscribers to switch to the cheaper deal that offers additional Scribd content. “We’re comfortable with that risk and we’ll monitor retention. But we think the power of this bundle is that people will stay subscribers longer.”
Scribd's Adler described the new partnership with NYT as “the ultimate reading subscription for people who want to stay well-informed.”