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Scribd Just Launched a Global Netflix for eBooks

scribd_logoScribd has come along way since they launched as a document storage site in 2007. First they added better anti-piracy measures, then they launched a content marketplace in 2009, and today they launched an ebook subscription service.

Scribd’s new ebook subscription service costs $8.99 a month and promises to offer a selection of ebooks from a number of publishers, including HarperCollins, E-Reads, Kensington, Red Wheel/Weiser, Rosetta Books, Sourcebooks, and Workman.

That’s not quite as broad of a selection as the recently launched Oyster (HMH isn’t mentioned, for example), but Scribd is charging less and they’re offering better platform support. While Oyster is only available on the iPhone, Scribd has apps for for Android, iPhone, iPad, and (if press reports are correct) you can read the ebooks in your web browser.

That’s great news for me; I loved Oyster but like a lot of its detractors I don’t own an iPhone and abandoned the service for that reason alone. I can’t wait to try Scribd. I have not yet had a chance to do so, and I plan to head over today and start my free trial.

Scribd’s service is reportedly available globally, though it’s not clear how many titles will be available internationally or even in the US. A global launch was a smart move for Scribd; it let Scribd benefit from their existing userbase.

Scribd boasts that they have amassed more than 80 million active users in 100 countries and 80 languages worldwide who have built up a global library of more than 40 million books and documents. The existing users give Scribd an advantage that makes them potentially a first-tier competitor in the ebook market.

Further Reading:

  • The New Scribd (The Scribd Blog)
  • Scribd Launches E-book Subscription Service (PW)
  • Here comes another ‘Netflix for books,’ this time from Scribd (PandoDaily)
  • With HarperCollins Deal, Scribd Unveils Its Bid To Become The Netflix For Books (TechCrunch)
  • Scribd launches digital book subscription service (CNET Reviews)

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Victor Jalb?-?oimaru October 1, 2013 um 11:50 am

“Better anti-piracy measures”?

I dont’t think so.

Every day we send DMCA complaints (even 300+ for some titles).

Scribd is awfull at this part (and I don’t think they want to change – they need the users so fuck the publishers).

I as a legitimate publisher personally uploaded my ebooks for sale via scribd (on the official paid account) and within two weeks some titles (pirated editions) were also uploaded online on scribd from different users.

Nate Hoffelder October 1, 2013 um 11:55 am

I remember a time when they caught a lot of flack for piracy and for the most part lacked a DMCA process. It’s a shame they still can’t get it right.

Stephen October 1, 2013 um 3:54 pm

I can’t do a search for "Star Wars". It always comes up with books containing 'star' and books containing 'wars'. The app is thus useless to me in its current form, as I’m reading through the SW:EU books for fun and I can’t tell if they have them.

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