People love to read romance novels, but unfortunately it is not receiving the same affection from the online book subscription, Scribd.
Scribd, like Netflix or Spotify, offers an unlimited library of books, ebooks, and comic books. This is a great model but when the company shells out more money to authors than what they make back in subscription fees, this can be problematic, especially towards a genre that is heavily read.
So in a released letter, Scribd announced that to ensure a substantial business model, the company may have to cut some romance titles from their collection. The statement reads:
We’ve grown to a point where we are beginning to adjust the proportion of titles across genres to ensure that we can continue to expand the overall size and variety of our service. We will be making some adjustments, particularly to romance, and as a result some previously available titles may no longer be available.”
In simple terms…subscribers are reading too much, particularly romance books, and simply can’t afford that.
What did you expect when you offered unlimited reading for a low price? It’s like Netflix saying, “People are watching too many comedies so we decide to cut TV and movie comedies from our catalog”.
Most likely expecting backlash from this decision, Scribd CEO Trip Adler asserts the company’s commitment to readers with this response:
“Let me state loudly and clearly that we remain committed to our romance audience. We’ve grown to such a point that we are beginning to adjust the proportion of titles across genres to ensure that we can continue to grow in a sustainable way. We are in the subscription business for the long haul, and while we are facing some growing pains today, we remain fully committed to our readers.”
I know they have to think about their business model but how is signaling out one popular genre showing commitment to your readers? Maybe they should have done survey to see which genre readers read the most before launching the service.
Here are two articles discussing the issue in detail: