Macmillan Signs Deal With Scribd, Other eBook Subscription Service
The hot news tomorrow morning is going to be coming from Macmillan. The US branch of this publishing conglomerate has signed a couple deals with ebook subscription services to add 1,000 titles to Scribd and (at least) one of its competitors.
To be clear, I do know the name of the competitor, it’s just that that particular detail is still under an embargo.
Update: It’s Oyster, which now boasts over 1 million titles.
After Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins, Macmillan is the third of the "Big 5" US publishers to sign with an ebook subscription service since late 2013, but if you add in publishers like HMH and Scholastic (each of which have revenues large enough to be included in the Big 5) then Macmillan is actually the 5th or 6th major US publisher to do so.
The specifics of Macmillan’s deal are not know at this time, but Macmillan CEO Jon Sargent did state last month that he intended to pursue deals with "companies offer “pay per read” plans that offer favorable economic terms". Both Scribd and Oyster offer this type of deal to publishers (Scribd also offers it to ebooks distributed through Smashwords).
Scribd currently boasts 500,000 titles, including 30,000 audiobook titles licensed through Findaway World. They boast 80 million monthly users, with some unknown number paying $8.99 a month to access the ebook subscription service.
Scribd hasn’t revealed the number of paying subscribers, but they did recently pick up another $22 million in capital. That suggests that the VCs who invested are satisfied with Scribd’s growth.