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Scribd returns to unlimited access model

In the US, online reading service Scribd is returning to its original ‘unlimited’ access reading model, although some controls will remain in place to limit ‘particularly heavy consumption’ by subscribers, reports Publisher’s Weekly.

As of 6 February, Scribd subscribers are able to access an unlimited number of books and audiobooks for US$8.99 (A$11.51) per month. However, controls will kick in if the company detects ‘over-consumption’, limiting the reader’s access to the most expensive and popular titles. The company has not divulged how many books or pages need to be consumed to trigger the restriction.

In 2015, Scribd reduced the number of romance and erotica titles, claiming at the time that it needed to adjust the model due to high-volume romance readers. A year later, Scribd dropped its unlimited model and moved to a two-tiered service, with all subscribers limited to three books a month and one audiobook.

Scribd co-founder and CEO Trip Adler said the change in business model is due to the company reaching a stable level of profitability. ‘We’re profitable so we can go back to the original model and pass along [some of our] revenue to our readers, authors and publishers,’ said Adler.

According to Adler, Scribd generated more than US$50 million (A$64m) in revenue in 2017, and has over 700,000 paid subscribers, with subscribers growing by 50% each year.


Category: International news