Scribd Update: Warning!

beaker
A couple months back I wrote a post about my experience with Scribd, the online book subscription service. It was a great service, unlimited access to thousands of book. I say was because a lot of things have happened since then.

In July, Scribd started removing romance titles from its catalogue. Why? Romance lovers read too much. It was costing the company more to pay the authors than they were making. Jane of Dear Author asked: Can a subscription service ever afford romance readers?  Apparently, that question can now be extended to fans of audiobooks.

This morning I received this email.
scribd

I checked my account and yes several of my saved audiobooks have an expired banner across them.
This didn’t surprise me too much at first, since there was a FAQ that mentioned books could be removed by request of the publisher or author. I thought it was a courtesy email until I checked Twitter.

Other users got the same email today. Then I saw this tweet from Jessica Tripler.

twitter scribd

And yes, according to their Support Desk changes are coming, again, to Scribd. Starting September 20, some audiobooks will be converting to a credit system. By paying $8.99 USD per month, users will receive just one credit a month for one audiobook requiring a credit. Instead of access to all audiobooks with your subscription fee, you get access to a limited number plus one credit per month for these special credited audiobooks. Which audiobooks? I dunno. But I’ll hazard a guess that many of them will be from the romance genre. Oh, but don’t worry, if you want to listen to another, you can pay an additional $8.99 USD for one credit. No thank you. (The Canadian dollar sucks right now, so this will cost me more than $8.99!)

I’ve just paid for this month of Scribd, but I think I’ll be cancelling soon. What I dislike most about this is the unknown. There is no way a customer will know when or if a book they’ve added to their library will expire. I’m going to finish the books I’ve started and that’s it for me.

Like that old saying “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is”… In this case it was.

Update: 

After signing into my account today through the Android app, I got a warning box which explained the changes. Also, many of the audiobooks now have an exclamation point banner in the corner. When clicked it explains that this audiobook will be a credit as of Sept 20. 

9 comments:

  1. Amen! Most people I have told had no idea. It is very important to get the word out since scribd is trying to do this under the radar. I can buy a book on audible for 8.99 by being a member and buying credits at the right time. Why would I pay that to rent a book? It costs less to rent a movie!

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    1. They're being very sneaky. The email never mentioned the changes. And yes, I'd rather own a book than rent it for that price.

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  2. Oooh - interesting! I'm not a Scrib'd subscriber, but hear about it all the time on the Book Riot podcast. Sounds like they got themselves into some hot water and are handling it really badly.

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    1. So badly! They were counting on people not using the service as it was intended and that was a mistake.

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  3. I Wonder if any subscription service can keep up with the cost of audiobooks and romance novels, in particular.

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    1. I don't know. It was a good idea, especially for readers like us, but as a business... On a good week, I can finish 2 audiobooks.

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  4. Argh, so frustrating! Meanwhile I've been totally unable to cancel my Scribd account -- every time I try, the damn website says it can't load anymore. I know I need to just call them but I've been putting it off. This week for sure.

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    1. Oh no! I haven't tried to cancel yet. What a pain in the butt.

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  5. I've been thinking about cancelling my Audible account (which is $15 for a month) and going to Scribd, but not if I'm still going to have to pay $15 (actually more when you add in those .99 cents for both pieces). Lisa just brought this to my attention today. Does make you wonder which will be free and which will be credits--I would assume the more popular titles would also be credits.

    Now...if only my library could get a decent online section!

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