Scribd Expands E-Book Subscription Service To Audiobooks, Competing With Amazon Kindle, Audible Unlimited

Scribd received a shot in the arm today with the announcement that the e-book subscription service now also offers more than 30,000 audiobooks. Among the highlights are audio versions of books written by Dennis Lehane, Elmore Leonard, and Haruki Murakami. The Hunger Games Trilogy is also available in audiobook and e-book formats. The addition of audiobooks improves Scribd’s competitiveness among rivals like e-book-only subscriptions Entitle and Oyster, as well as industry heavyweights like Amazon.

Scribd added audibooks to its collection of ebooks to better compete with the likes of Amazon Unlimited and Audible.
Some popular titles from Scrib's new audiobook catalog. Image Credit: Scribd

Despite the new audiobook catalog, Scribd’s subscription price of $8.99 hasn’t changed. Subscribers have access to more than 500,000 e-books and 30,000 audiobooks, some of which come from major publishers like Simon & Schuster. Amazon recently launched Kindle Unlimited, which has more than 700,000 tiles and “thousands” of audiobooks, for $9.99 per month. Both services offer a month-long trials. Amazon also owns Audible, a popular audiobook subscription service that has a large catalog of bestsellers.
E-book subscriptions aren’t new (Scribd has been around for the better part of a decade, for example), but they have gained traction in recent years as more reader have turned to their phones, tablets, and other mobile devices for books and audiobooks. E-book services and retailers are competing both by expanding their catalogs and by adding features that improve the reading experience. Amazon Unlimited, for example, uses Amazon’s WhisperSync technology to let users switch between e-book and audiobook versions of a story.