Scribd has been experiencing growing pains trying to make audiobooks financially viable. They company made the decision to scrap unlimited listening back in August and relegated their subscription base to onlyone title per month. If you want more, it will cost an extra $8.99 for every other audiobook you want. This decision to change their business model did not resonate well with their customers, but considering Entitle and Oyster are going out of business, there are few options left.
Audiobooks are a relatively new product category for Scribd, who have been making a name for themselves with a low cost subscription fee to read as many e-books and comics as you want. They have only been involved in the audio sector since November of last year when they struck a deal with Findaway World. Almost immediately they distinguished themselves from the competition and brought in thousands of new users who wanted to listen to novels, instead of reading them. Today, Scribd has announced that they have established a working relationship with Hachette, Macmillan, HighBridge Audio, Tantor Audio, and Recorded Book to add 30,000 more audiobooks to their catalog. Listeners will be able to now get audio editions by authors such as James Patterson, David Baldacci, and Nicholas Sparks.
Scribd has confirmed that when one of their subscribers listens to a single audio edition they are only making two dollars in profit. It is very likely that the revenue system they worked out with these new companies will allow them to make more money then the deal with Findaway.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.