Scribd Adds Magazines to Its E-Book Subscription Service

By Aarthi Rayapura November 3, 2016

By Jeffrey A Trachtenberg

Tolstoy, move over.

Scribd, the closely held San Francisco-based subscription service that offers access to e-books, audiobooks and documents for a monthly fee of $8.99, is adding a select group of magazines to its mix.

The eight publications include Time Inc.’s People, Money, Fortune and Time, as well as New York magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek. The magazines, which have been optimized for mobile reading, will be available to subscribers starting Nov. 1. Scribd says it will be pursuing more titles in the weeks ahead.

“We’re offering the full magazine, and readers can also browse by interest, which means they’ll see a specific article, say from People, but also other related stories,” said Trip Adler, Scribd’s chief executive. Readers will also be able to see recommendations for related articles, books, audiobooks and documents.

The magazine publishers will be paid by Scribd either via a flat licensing fee or based on the number of articles read. For consumers, the magazines will be included in the $8.99 monthly subscription at no additional charge.

The move is the opening salvo in a push to broaden Scribd’s offerings as it competes with Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle Unlimited $9.99 monthly subscription service. Kindle Unlimited offers users access to more than 1 million e-books, plus audiobooks and a rotating selection of more than 30 magazines, including all of Time Inc.’s U.S. magazine brands, such as People and Time.

An executive at New York magazine said she expected the new partnership with Scribd will generate revenue and some insights into how and where people want to access magazine content.

“We’re interested in new emerging platforms where we may gain exposure to readers we may not be already reaching,” said Camilla Cho, executive director of business development and strategy at New York magazine.

Read the full article on Wall Street Journal

And check out how Zuora helps media companies succeed in the Subscription Economy!