October 26, 2021

Scribd Ups the Subscription Service Ante With the Addition of 30,000 Audiobooks

We have written a lot about not only the development of “all you can read” ebook services like Oyster, Scribd, Kindle Unlimited, etc/ for the past couple of years but also the possible impact over the long term that these and likely other services will have on public libraries.

Today’s News From Scribd: “All You Can Read” and “All You Can Listen”

iPadBrowseMenuToday, one ebook subscription service, Scribd has added a new format of material to their $8.99/month service with the addition of more than 30,000 audiobooks from HarperCollins, Scholastic, Blackstone, and Naxos.

In the news release Scribd mentions that audiobook titles including The Hunger Games trilogy, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño, and Daring Greatly by Brené Brown are included in the audiobooks available as of today. We’ll list other representative titles at the bottom of this post.

UPDATE: Scribd VP Julie Haddon tells Publisher’s Weekly:

…a number of features offered via the audio service including the ability to listen offline as well as online; audio bookmarks, multiple playback speeds and Bluetooth functionality. In addition, Scribd plans to add features that will allow a user to toggle between the prose e-book and the audiobook pages and synch the two spots when the listener stops

So, Scribd now offers approximately 500,000 ebooks and as of today 30,000+ audiobook titles as part of their subscription service.

Unlike ebooks  and audiobooks borrowed from a library all Scribd titles (same for their competitors) are available at all times for an unlimited amount of time.

Expect the 30,000+ number to expand and also look for Amazon.com to quickly increase the number of audiobooks available from their Kindle Unlimited service. Amazon included 2,000 titles when Kindle Unlimited launched this summer.

Scribd is partnering with Ohio-based Findaway World (a company we’ve mentioned on infoDOCKET several times in the past year) to provide the audiobook content.

At this time audiobooks are available as part of the Scribd subscription service for Android, Kindle Fire, Nook tablets, and web enabled browsers. Audiobooks will be available very soon iOS users

Once Again

We’ve been clear that at some point it’s possible that subscription-based content services for ebooks and audiobooks will have an impact on the public library as a source for popular material.

This does not mean the end of public library as a content source (not at all) but it does mean that these services must be watched closely and understood by the library community. It might not be a bad idea to also discuss possible scenarios about what these services might do not only for library ebook usage but also for collection building and spending both short and long term.

Watching how subscription services operate closely might also be an educational opportunity for the library word to gain some insight  on how to market a service to consumers who may or may not use the library.

Finally, a question. Could a subscription service eventually (not today or tomorrow but sometime in the future) replace the need for a public library to build a local collection of popular ebook and audiobooks. In other words, will a library buy access to a subscription service for their users and spend the money used to buy ebooks (often very expensive) for other services and projects?

More Titles in the Scribd Audiobook Collection (via News Release)

  • New releases – How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin, and more.
  • Acclaimed actors reading beloved fiction – Rosamund Pike reads The Spy Who Loved Me, Barbara Rosenblat reads Up the Down Staircase, and more.
  • Landmark works by contemporary authors – Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño, The Game by A.S. Byatt, Europe Central by William T. Vollmann, Mothers and Sons by Colm Tóibín, Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen, Lovers at the Chameleon Club by Francine Prose, and more.
  • Beloved actors reading children’s classics – James Earl Jones reads Who’s In Rabbit’s House?, Paul Giamatti reads The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Meryl Streep reads Chrysanthemum, Sarah Jessica Parker reads Owen, and more.
  • Star-studded full-cast recordings of classics – Contemporary actors including Damien Lewis & Joseph Fiennes appear in full-cast recordings of Shakespeare; Forest Whitaker, Eartha Kitt, Angela Bassett, and Denzel Washington appear in full-cast recordings of the Bible, and more.
  • Golden Age Radio Dramas – Science fiction classics such as the Bradbury Thirteen and The Twilight Zone recall the Golden Age of radio dramas with full cast recordings, soundtracks, and sound effects.
  • Self-Improvement titles– The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton, and more.
  • Novels that inspired blockbuster films – Recordings of the novels that inspired blockbuster films, such as Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Graduate by Charles Webb, and more.
  • Beloved narrators – Audiophiles’ favorite narrators such as Jim Dale, Simon Vance, Katherine Kellgren, and more.
  • Critically acclaimed and award-winning recordings – Grammy & Audie Award Winners, ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings, Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award Winners, and more

See Also: Findaway World Launches AudioEngine Audiobook Distribution Platform

See Also: FindAway World Gets $500,000 U.S. Air Force Contract For Preloaded, Secure E-Reader Devices

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.