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Scribd Expands Its Audiobook Catalog With Titles from Hachette, Macmillan

4915675956_9aaaa48607_bNever one to give up in the face of adversity, Scribd is growing its audiobook catalog today.

The subscription ebook service says it has just added over ten thousand audiobook titles to its catalog. Scribd had previously carried around 30,000 titles under a contract with Findaway, and now it’s adding titles from Hachette, Macmillan, HighBridge Audio, Tantor Audio, and Recorded Books.

Highlights from today’s expansion include bestselling authors like James Patterson, David Baldacci, and Nicholas Sparks, modern classics from David Foster Wallace, Sherman Alexie, and Jonathan Franzen, and works from new favorites like Nell Zink and Rainbow Rowell, plus so much more.

Scribd has been carrying audiobooks since they struck a deal with Findaway last November, but following the cutbacks they announced in August Scribd will no longer reveal how many audiobooks they offer.  I asked, and the closest they would come to a figure was to non-specifically say that their catalog contained than 1 million titles across ebooks, audiobooks, and comics.

While subscribers can pay $9 a month to read as many comic books and ebooks as they like from the Scribd catalog, the audiobook offering is much more limited. Subscribers only get to listen to a single audiobook each month under their subscription plan.

Subscribers can rent additional audiobooks for $9 each, which hardly seems worth it given that you can often buy an ebook+audiobook bundle in the Kindle Store for not much more. But there is a method to the madness.

Scribd had to limit its audiobook service for the same reason that Oyster sold out to Google this week; the costs were just to high. In the case of audiobooks, the fee paid for just a single copy could exceed the $9 monthly subscription fee that Scribd got from its customer.

And with the average audiobook lover going through several titles each month, the drain was simply unsustainable.

image by Johan Larsson

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