Subscription reading service Scribd is adding another string to its bow today with the news that it’s now including “select” articles from a number of premium newspapers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and Financial Times.
Founded out of San Francisco in 2007, Scribd offers subscribers cross-platform access to a selection of reading materials — including ebooks, audiobooks, documents, and, as of last November, magazines — all for $9 per month. While the service used to be completely unlimited, readers are now limited to three books and one audiobook per month, though all other reading material remains unrestricted.
Personally, I use Scribd to host all of my documents that I wish to embed on my websites, most notably my screenplays. It’s great for doing that.
Scribd recently removed comics and graphic novels from its repertoire, while newspapers have long been a notable omission from the service, but as of today subscribers will be able to access a range of articles from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and the Guardian.
Scribd already supported some news sources through its platform when it opened to magazines last year, with the likes of Time, Fortune, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Newsweek already on board. But adding actual newspapers to the mix marks a notable evolution for the service
Traditional media outlets have been pushing to find new ways to monetize in the digital age, with many online consumers long accustomed to getting content for free. Last year, Dutch startup Blendle launched its “iTunes for journalism” platform, enabling U.S. publishers, including the New York Times, to offer an alternative to recurring subscriptions by adopting a pay-per-article model.
Allowing some articles to be read within Scribd creates an avenue to not only expose newspaper journalism to more readers, but to also gain direct revenue through commercial tie-ups with technology companies.