No, I am not getting paid by Scribd to write these articles. But if anyone at Scribd is reading this I wouldn’t mind a free subscription because they recently added unlimited comic book downloads to their roster. Why is this significant? It’s significant because although Scribd up to now has only been competing with a few other unlimited book subscription services, it is now also competing with comic book subscription services. Does Scribd have the potential to become the next printed media giant?
Like Netflix but for Books, Comics and Papers
Image source: talkingcomicbooks
If you’re not familiar with Netflix, it’s the not so small company that redefined the way people consume digital media. Not only do they offer an extensive streaming media library they also have recently started producing their own unique content. Will Scribd have the potential to follow in its footsteps? It would be extremely exciting to see a company that will independently publish books, magazines and comics due to their customer-based consumption.
So most of the similar offerings only allow you to read comics. Which is their sole purpose and intent and that’s great. Scribd, on the other hand, has books, magazines and academic papers that you can read as much as you like of for only $8.99 a month. That is quite a bargain if you consider the average price of a single book on Amazon.com is around $9.99. If you manage to read more than one book a month, then your subscription has paid for itself. But we’re talking comics right? Yep, thanks for paying attention. Your subscription allows you unlimited access to comic books. Unfortunately, what you have access to is limited. First one of the big two comic companies DC (Batman, Superman) is completely omitted. The other, Marvel, is featured but only an old catalogue and about 20% of their titles. Valiant, IDW/Top Shelf, Dynamite and Archie comics are also featured, but that still isn’t representing some of the most popular companies.
Will this be Detrimental to Them?
At this point, I can’t be sure, like I mentioned above it’s not the only thing Scribd offers, so an extra service like unlimited comic books isn’t going to hurt them or their brand all that much. Even if it does, much like Netflix when it separated its physical and digital content delivery, they can always go back to their original model that is very popular anyway. It already has 100 million bibliophiles subscribed to its service, and even if they aren’t comic readers themselves maybe they have a husband, a son or daughter or a wife that is.
Will their Catalogue Increase Eventually?
As their track record has shown, it’s a strong possibility. Since it began, it has added 900 publishers and over half a million books to its roster. They haven’t stopped there though; they are constantly trying to add new books, titles and publishers. It is a good possibility that they will try to do the same with their comic book offerings. If they expand the way they did with books, we will soon see our favorite superheroes available to read for just $8.99 a month. Not too shabby…but I’ll just stand here with my hands on my hips and tap my foot impatiently until that happens.
Are you a Scribd subscriber? How do you feel about the addition of comic books to their offerings? Let me know in the comment section below.