Penguin Random House has just pulled all of their English and Spanish ebook titles from various online unlimited services. This includes Bookbeat, Nextory, Scribd and Storytel. The publisher confirmed the change with Good e-Reader, “at this point in time, Penguin Random House has decided that we will not participate in subscription models with unlimited access. Our decision was made jointly by the company’s international management team to protect a variety of content on the market and the actual and perceived long-term value of our authors’ intellectual property rights.”
Various news agencies are speculating that Penguin Random House is going to launch their own unlimited subscription platform, which is why they are pulling all of the titles from other companies.
This move could be happening because Bertelsmann, the massive media company based in Germany, has announced that it will soon become the sole owner of Penguin Random House. Upon approval by regulators, which is expected, the company will purchase the remaining 25% of the joint-venture now owned by Pearson, the UK-based publisher that is shedding non-educational assets.
Scribd has disclosed to Good e-Reader that Penguin Random House is removing all audiobooks from their platform, sometime in February. The two sides reached an agreement for a sunsetting clause, this is the only company that PRH negotiated with.
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.