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Books The Media

Scribd To Change Its 'Unlimited' E-book Subscription Plan To Semi-Unlimited 55

Robotech_Master writes: Subscription service Scribd has announced that it will change its unlimited e-book and audiobook-reading plan to a hybrid limited/unlimited model starting next month. It will offer a rotating selection of thousands of titles for unlimited reading, plus up to 3 books and 1 audiobook per month from the entire Scribd catalog. The particularly interesting thing to come out of this is that only 3% of Scribd's subscribers actually read more than 3 books per month--so the effect for the other 97% will actually be to give them access to a wider selection of titles.
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Scribd To Change Its 'Unlimited' E-book Subscription Plan To Semi-Unlimited

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  • All y'all suckers should continue to thank your God, Amazon, for continuing to allow you to read their books.
  • Semi-unlimited? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ITRambo ( 1467509 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @07:54PM (#51523723)
    There is no such thing. Unlimited means no limit. Anything less is limited. Period. Such marketing BS.
    • Things like this are why I don't subscribe to Scribd or its ilk.

      They neglect to mention that while only 3% of the users were downloading lots of media, everyone else was also paying for "unlimited" service they didn't really use.

      Scribd's stance seems to be: "It's just too expensive to offer the service we actually promised. So everyone is now going to pay for our screwup."
    • "Semi-unlimited" (with quotes) was a phrase used by the article not Scribd. So it may be BS but it's not (Scribd) marketing BS.

  • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @07:57PM (#51523737)

    > hybrid limited/unlimited

    The word for that is "limited". If I can find a limit, it's "limited". It's not "hybrid limited/unlimited". That's silly.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Clearly you aren't in marketing.

  • Words (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @08:04PM (#51523789)

    The word they're looking for is "limited".

    • Their "unlimited" books have always been limited in selection. Now they're shrinking the selection, but adding 3 books from an even wider selection.

      Presumably, the plan is to get their customers hooked on their wider limited selection, so that that one month they read more than 3 books, they'll have to spend extra. Since only 3% of their customers will be affected in any one month, they're not expecting much backlash (presumably a different 3% each month, since they're careful to focus on the percent affect

  • ick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @08:14PM (#51523851)
    I don't really get Scribd's business model. The only time I end up there is through Google results, and they try to make me pay for something that the next Google result has for free. Scribd and Experts Exchange could possibly be the two most annoying sites on the internet for that.
    • "Scribd and Experts Exchange could possibly be the two most annoying sites on the internet for that."

      But at least Experts Exchange has a funnier domain name.
      [Deleting Scribd app]

  • There must be 1000s of books that I don't ever want to read. Clearly the marketing guys don't factor-in that quality of choice is as important as quantity. Looks like scribd is about to market itself into oblivion.
    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      There must be 1000s of books that I don't ever want to read.

      Indeed, and those books will make up the brunt of the 1000 "unlimited' books. (The rest will be the first book in interminable series.)
      To read books that are actually readable, you have to use your quota of 3 books, and soon enough, pay extra.

      Or at least, that's what Scribd marketing thinks. They don't appear to take into account that this will alienate readers, who will jump ship in a second. Internet users are fickle, and won't stay if you try to milk them.
      (Something the new owners here seem to get.)

  • The idea of rotating selection is stupid. Just make all the titles you have available actually available all the time. It isn't as if they are running out of disk space. You want a wider selection of titles? Just make them all available, don't rotate them.
    • They are all available all the time. This change simply limits you to 3 per month. So unless you read more than 3 books per month, this change doesn't affect you at all.

    • "The idea of rotating selection is stupid. Just make all the titles you have available actually available all the time."

      Rotating selection is what makes Netflix Streaming so miserable. You constantly have to watch for those pitiful little lists of Netflix movies that 'expire' soon. I stay with Netflix DVD so I can get mostly every movie ever made.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't know what scribd is, but I read somewhere that it was soon going to be incorporated into systemd.

  • This change makes me feel a lot better about my Scribd subscription, it gives me confidence that the service is sustainable. It's still a good deal, I'm definitely part of the 97% that read fewer than 3 books per month. Buying 2-3 books a month would definitely cost me a lot more than $90/year.

    I felt the same way after my ISP switched from unlimited to 400GB per month. I'm no longer paying for those leechers that use several TB per month.

    • "I felt the same way after my ISP switched from unlimited to 400GB per month."

      Imagine how thrilled you'll be when they cut the cap to 150GB per month?

    • I felt the same way after my ISP switched from unlimited to 400GB per month. I'm no longer paying for those leechers that use several TB per month.

      How big a discount did they give you for the switch?

  • by SkunkPussy ( 85271 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @05:53AM (#51526185) Journal

    They take public domain documents then put them behind a wall where you can't download or print them unless you sign up or subscribe.

    Its complete bullshit.

  • Sounds like the effect's going to be like moving from the old Netflix with hoardes of obscure DVDs to the "popular" online movies available. 3 books, but only 1 audio from the full catalog per month? Boo. Who wants to listen to the same junk as everyone else? Bad news, at least it sounds like it.

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