Scribd racks up 1 million paid subscribers

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Scribd is the ultimate subscription service for readers.
Photo: Scribd

Scribd, the company which describes itself as the “Netflix for reading,” says that it has passed 1 million paid subscribers for its $8.99 a month service.

While 1 million is way below the kind of numbers enjoyed by Netflix, Spotify or Apple Music, it’s still an impressive milestone at a time when many publishers are struggling. It’s also one that Apple is likely paying a whole lot of attention to.

Scribd offers a variety of written and audio content on an “all you can eat” monthly basis. The company has been working with this business model since 2013. It further evolved in 2015 when it added audiobooks and magazines.

“This is an exciting milestone for Scribd; one million subscribers is a tipping point for any subscription company and proves we have a reading service that people want, need, and love,” said Trip Adler, co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “Scribd has been at the forefront of the digital reading evolution over the last decade, driving incremental revenue to the publishing industry while making the written word more accessible than ever before. As we celebrate this milestone, we’re grateful to our partners for trusting us with their content and believing in our mission to change the way the world reads.”

You can download the Scribd app here. It offers access to an unlimited number of the books and audiobooks, as well as articles from Bloomberg Businessweek, Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and more.

There’s also the world’s largest document library, which includes official government reports, academic dissertations, detailed scientific studies, and more — plus a selection of audiobooks.

Good news for Apple

News of Scribd’s milestone is likely to be of interest to Apple, since it is reportedly developing its own magazine subscription service. Based on Texture, the $9.99-a-month magazine service Apple purchased last March, this would be a paid magazine and newspaper subscription service that could serve as a premium part of the existing Apple News app.

Bloomberg has predicted Apple will launch the subscription news service as soon as spring 2019. While 1 million paid users would be a fraction of the 56 million Apple Music gets, it must still be good to see Scribd prove the business model can be profitable.