Reading material doesn’t have to be just books, as a rival for Amazon Kindle’s unlimited service opens a new chapter in Australia.
If you’re someone who loves to read and loves to do so in the most modern way possible, you have choices in how you do so. Between the eReaders made by Amazon in the Kindle, as well as their phone and tablet equivalent, not to mention the competitors from Kobo, plus the others — Google Play Books and Apple’s iPhone and iPad bookstore — digital readers have choices, for sure.
But these choices typically focus on one or two specific mediums: books and magazines. You may even find the odd newspaper on them, but it’s typically a book and magazine thing.
There are, of course, plenty of other mediums out there, and as such, there are other things for you to consume. For instance, Audible tends to extend Amazon’s reading platform with audiobooks, while Apple News+ offers magazines for people to consume.
And yet, there’s still more out there. If you want to read comics or music, Australians don’t typically have much to look at, but that might soon change.
Another player has emerged in Australia, as Scribd launches a competitor to the likes of Kindle and Kobo, focused not just on books, but also magazines, articles, audiobooks, podcasts, and something genuinely surprising, sheet music.
It’s a slightly different take on an eReader platform, too, and not just because of how varied the offering is, but because Scribd allows its users to upload documents to read and share. That might include reports and documents, but a cursory glance reveals some comics might pop up, too, providing a very varied reading platform.
For $13.99 per month with a 30 day trial, Scribd offers Australians access to a massive library of content across the categories it caters to, and based on what we’ve seen, may offer access to other platforms as part of what subscribers pay for. However, it’s not just going to be a library of international content, but something where local stories have been considered.
Locally at launch, Scribd has worked with the likes of Allen & Unwin, Fremantle Press, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster Australia, to name a few, including books by Australian names alongside the international library.
“We’re thrilled to be shining a light on great Australian authors and content,” said Andrew Weinstein, Vice President of Content, Acquisition and Strategy for Scribd.
“Scribd has a long history of building relationships with publishers, and we’re committed to helping drive incremental revenue to the local publishing ecosystem,” he said.
“We know reading ranks among the top three leisure activities in Australia and we look forward to helping nurture this love of reading.”
Armed with whatever the community uploads plus magazines, podcasts, and sheet music, Scribd clearly represents an intriguing offering, though it’s the user library that might end up being the most interesting.
Glance through the Scribd library and you’ll quickly see that’s where any and all comics are for the service, which is new to Australia. However, if you join for the user uploads, it’s entirely possible that one day, you might see those disappear.
Scribd’s policies suggest it will remove content that users don’t have the right to upload, which we suspect could see some of this library of extra content disappear in the future. Not all of it, of course, but a category such as comics, which may offer thousands of issues of on the service mightn’t be there beyond user uploads, and that could see them removed later on, too.
We’re checking with Scribd to find out what this means for the extent of its service, and whether the platform is working with comic publishers to provide a local subscription of content, and not just whatever Scribd users have uploaded.
For now, however, Scribd’s service will cater with both what it has deals for — ebooks, magazines, podcasts, and sheet music aplenty — plus whatever else is uploaded by its users. Australians keen to see what this offers can do so with the Scribd app for iOS and Android, which is available now, with the subscription for $13.99 per month.