First there was music streaming. Now it's the equivalent for books as Scribd goes from free 'dodgy uploaded documents' reading to a legit subscription model.
E-books aren't going away
Scribd was intially a self-publishing platform that was also rampantly abused by ebook pirates, allowing for people to share and read all manner of electronic documents online.
Now Scribd is sticking to the straight and narrow by vetting what users upload on the site, while also charging. Scribd's new subscription model of US$8.99 a month allows users access to an indeterminate amount of titles from major publishers, with the choice of downloading up to 10 titles to read offline.
With music streaming services like Spotify, Rdio and Deezer slowly becoming mainstays for Internet users all over the world, it makes sense that someone would come up with a book subscription model. After all, Audible's audiobook service has managed to amass a sizeable loyal following, so why wouldn't something like Scribd take off?
It all depends on how much a following Scribd manages to get and whether there will still be enough money to go around, once writers and publishers are paid their dues. Scribd subscription is limited to US-only at the moment but non-US users can still enjoy some free browsing and who knows? Perhaps like Spotify, Scribd might just expand its services to this part of the world. Never say never.