When it comes to online libraries, the Amazon group pretty much reigns supreme. Whether its Kindle Unlimited for eBooks or Audible for audiobooks, Amazon consistently ranks at the top of the charts.
But what if another contender came in to shake things up? Could they dethrone the current champion?
Well, that's exactly what Scribd is attempting to do. But can they actually do it, and is it worth it?
In this Scribd review, you will learn:
- The basis behind Scribd and what it can offer
- Scribd vs Kindle Unlimited vs Audible
- How much does it cost to enroll in Scribd's services
- About Scribd's cool bonuses and uploading your documents
- Some Pros and Cons to Scribd
- Is Scribd worth the money?
What is Scribd?
Founded in 2007, Scribd set out to become the #1 option in online libraries. And it has made major progress towards that goal with 700,000 monthly subscribers worldwide.
Often dubbed “The Netflix of Books”, Scribd has access to over 1000 different publishing houses including the so-called Big 5 (Simon and Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Macmillan). As for selection, Scribd can give you access to over 1 MILLION different eBooks and audiobook titles.
That's right. Scribd works as an all-in-one service, providing you with both audiobooks and eBooks that you can checkout and read on just about any platform out there — Mac, PC, iOS, Android, and even Kindle! One of the neat advantages of Scribd is that it provides both audiobooks and eBooks in one place, unlike Amazon, which has both Audible and Kindle Unlimited. Let's take a quick glance at how the three compare.Can the 'Netflix of Books' really dethrone Audible and Kindle Unlimited from atop the online library hierarchy? Check out our Scribd review to see if they have what it takes. #audiobooks #booklisteners #kindleunlimitedClick To Tweet
Scribd vs Kindle Unlimited vs Audible
|eBook Selection||500000+||ONE MILLION+|
|Rental Limit||Unlimited*||Can Hold Up to 10 Books at Once||1-2 Audiobooks per Month|
Scribd Review: Pricing
Now, Scribd does have an awesome 30-day free trial. But what's next after that?
After your trial period expires, you'll need to swap over to their paid premium service. However, when it comes to price, compared to its competitors, Scribd gets the blue ribbon. A monthly subscription is only $8.99 per month! Simply put, that's around the cost of 3 cups of coffee. And for unlimited books… That's a heck of a deal.
Just like practically every other book service out there, it is a recurring subscription, but you can cancel at anytime.
Awesome Additional Features of Scribd
Scribd isn't just a standard digital library, and this wouldn't be a Scribd review if I didn't let you in on some of its sweet bonuses. Once enrolled, you can actually avail of other services such as:
Have you ever picked up a great memoir or non-fiction book and wished you could just get the great insights out of it without going through the time of reading it? Often times, these books can be long or even hard to read, but the information within is invaluable. That's where Blinkist comes into play. Blinkist gives you key insights and lessons learned from the book in just a quick audio or text. They're like Cliffnotes for your life.
Now if you have children, this could be an awesome perk for you! Farfaria is a book streaming service made just for kids. Titles seen here can be read aloud with auto page turning, read aloud when the child turns the page, or read with no audio narration at all. Farfaria has the potential to not only help your kids learn how to read, but to actually enjoy reading as well.
MUBI is a great online streaming service for cinema heads. It provides you with unfettered access to some of the greatest films produced around the world — all of which can be accessed from the tips of your fingers anywhere. Got a long bus trip? Grab a show. Or what about a long airport wait? Burn a flick with MUBI.
Let's face it. We don't always have a convenient place to bring and read a newspaper. But does that mean we need to give up on our daily dose of news and journalism? No! AUDM is essentially the audiobook version of long form journalism. Just plug in and stay up to date with world events, narrated by top-notch narrators.
Pocket is a perfect software for busy individuals and people on the go. Sometimes, we come across articles and headlines that we'd love to dive into but just don't have the time at that moment. I've been in this situation many a time myself. And it stinks having to try and search back through just to find that article. With Pocket, you can simply save that article to an offline version that you'll be able to read when you have the time to dedicate.
Uploading your Documents to Scribd
Do you have anything you'd like to share with the world? Now, while Scribd is not a full-fledged publishing platform such as Amazon or Kobo, you can still upload documents that you'd love to share. Maybe you've written a great book list you'd like to share or a full book report on the latest release. These are just some of the awesome things that you can put on Scribd.
Just as a note… there is an upload limit. You can only upload up to 100MB per file. Keep in mind that when your files are converted for Scribd, they tend to grow larger in size. 75MB is a probably a good cut-off size for upload.
And Scribd accepts a huge amount of file formats for upload including EPUB and PDF. However, MOBI files are not accepted.
Scribd Review: Pros and Cons
At its core, Scribd operates just as every other online library out there. But there are some unique pros and cons when it comes to Scribd.
Pros of Scribd
- EBooks can be downloaded for offline access or read online.
- You can setup a sleep timer from between 5 minutes to 2 hours.
- You can add highlights and bookmarks to track your progress.
- Follow major periodicals such as Time Magazine or Fortune Magazine.
Cons of Scribd
- Unlimited access doesn't necessarily mean unlimited. Scribd practices throttling when it comes to their checkouts. High demand books are often restricted once the throttle cap is reached.
- Scribd falls short when it comes to account management and book progress across multiple devices.
- It's been noticed that unsubscribing from Scribd has become a major issue. This is a potential deal-breaker.
Scribd Review: Is It Worth It?
So, what's the bottom line? Is Scribd worth it?
Are you a voracious reader who can't get their hands on enough books? Do you listen to more than 2 audiobooks a month? Or do you have documents you'd love to share with the world?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions… Then perhaps Scribd is the right platform for you. The unlimited nature (even with throttling) provides a higher access to books than Amazon's Kindle Unlimited and Audible–not to mention that the Big 5 publishers are available, unlike KU. And when it comes to audiobooks… Scribd definitely is a much better deal if you listen to quite a few a month.
However, there is one thing I just can't get past when it comes to Scribd. The issue with unsubscribing. I feel like I should be able to really control when I want to unsubscribe. While the allure of selection is great, that lack of definite control keeps me personally with Kindle Unlimited and Audible.