November 10, 2014
Scribd recently announced that in addition to its collection of e-books, subscribers now have access to a compilation of over 30,000 audiobooks. The company is one of the first e-book companies to have implemented a monthly subscription fee in exchange for unlimited access to its content. Joining the likes of models offered by Netflix and Spotify, Scribd subscribers can pay a monthly fee of $8.99 to access all available e-books and audiobooks belonging to the service’s catalog.
According to Wired, today’s customers prefer to pay for access to online catalogs of content versus individual songs, movies and books that can be stored on a device.
The major companies have taken note of the trend, and have already entered the subscription service economy. For instance, Apple, whose iTunes service has been on the decline, recently acquired Beats music, and Amazon has evolved its Prime services to grant unlimited access to its library of music, movies and shows.
Only a year ago, San Francisco startup Scribd was simply an all-you-can-read e-book service. Today, Scribd stands alone as the only e-book service to offer customers access to unlimited audiobooks. Scribd has secured audiobooks from publishing houses including HarperCollins and Scholastic. According to Scribd CEO Trip Adler, one goal of the company is to “make it a lot easier to just start a piece of content… You can simply try out different books and audiobooks until you find what you want.”
The subscription service model has also proven to benefit content producers because it has become an alternative platform where customers can gain access to back catalog content. Chantal Restivo-Alessi, chief digital officer for HarperCollins believes that as a content provider, “Our job is to offer choice to consumers and allow the to access our content in as many ways as possible as long as its value is recognized.”