This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (January 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Type of business||Private|
|Available in||English, Spanish, Portuguese|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, US|
|Key people||Trip Adler|
(co-founder and CEO)
(co-founder and CTO)
(co-founder and COO)
|Services||Social reading and publishing platform|
|Alexa rank||222 (August 2018[update])|
Founded in 2007 by Trip Adler, Jared Friedman, and Tikhon Bernstam, and headquartered in San Francisco, California, the company is backed by Khosla Ventures, Y Combinator, Charles River Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures. Scribd's e-book subscription service is available on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, as well as the Kindle Fire, Nook, and personal computers. Subscribers can access unlimited books a month from 1,000 publishers, including Bloomsbury, Harlequin, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Lonely Planet, Macmillan, Perseus Book Group, Simon & Schuster, Wiley, and Workman.
Scribd began as a site to host and share documents. While at Harvard, Trip Adler was inspired to start Scribd after learning about the lengthy process required to publish academic papers. His father, a doctor at Stanford, was told it would take 18 months to have his medical research published. Adler wanted to create a simple way to publish and share written content online. He co-founded Scribd with Jared Friedman and attended the inaugural class of Y Combinator in the summer of 2006. There, Scribd received its initial $120,000 in seed funding and then launched in a San Francisco apartment in March 2007.
Scribd was called "the YouTube for documents", allowing anyone to self-publish on the site using its document reader. The document reader turns PDFs, Word documents, and PowerPoints into Web documents that can be shared on any website that allows embeds. In its first year, Scribd grew rapidly to 23.5 million visitors as of November 2008. It also ranked as one of the top 20 social media sites according to Comscore.
In June 2009, Scribd launched the Scribd Store, enabling writers to easily upload and sell digital copies of their work online. That same month, the site partnered with Simon & Schuster to sell e-books on Scribd. The deal made digital editions of 5,000 titles available for purchase on Scribd, including books from bestselling authors like Stephen King, Dan Brown, and Mary Higgins Clark.
In October 2009, Scribd launched its branded reader for media companies including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and MediaBistro. ProQuest began publishing dissertations and theses on Scribd in December 2009. In August 2010, many notable documents hosted on Scribd began to go viral, including the California Proposition 8 ruling, which received over 100,000 views in about 24 minutes, and HP's lawsuit against Mark Hurd's move to Oracle.
Subscription service (2013–present)
In October 2013, Scribd officially launched its unlimited subscription service for e-books. This gave users unlimited access to Scribd's library of digital books for a flat monthly fee. The company also announced a partnership with HarperCollins which made the entire backlist of HarperCollins' catalog available on the subscription service. According to Chantal Restivo-Alessi, chief digital officer at HarperCollins, this marked the first time that the publisher has released such a large portion of its catalog. In March 2014, Scribd announced a deal with Lonely Planet, offering the travel publisher's entire library on its subscription service.
In May 2014, Scribd further increased its subscription offering with 10,000 titles from Simon & Schuster. These titles included works from authors such as: Ray Bradbury, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ernest Hemingway, Walter Isaacson, Stephen King, Chuck Klosterman, and David McCullough.
In February 2016, it was announced that only titles from a rotating selection of the library would be available for unlimited reading, and subscribers would have credits to read three books and one audiobook per month from the entire library; unused credits roll over to the next month.
Scribd’s unlimited service launched on February 6, 2018, and includes access to an unlimited number of books and audiobooks, alongside unlimited access to news, magazines, documents, and sheet music, for a monthly subscription fee of US$8.99. However, under this unlimited service, Scribd will "occasionally [...] limit the titles that [members are] able to access within a specific content library in a 30-day period." The previous credit system for books and audiobooks were removed.
In October 2018, Scribd announced a joint subscription to Scribd and The New York Times for $12.99 per month.
In November 2014, Scribd added audiobooks to its subscription library. Wired noted that this was the first subscription service to offer unlimited access to audiobooks, and "it represents a much larger shift in the way digital content is consumed over the net." In April 2015, the company expanded its audiobook catalog in a deal with Penguin Random House. This added 9,000 audiobooks to its platform including titles from authors like Lena Dunham, John Grisham, Gillian Flynn, and George R.R. Martin.
In February 2015, Scribd introduced comics to its subscription service. The company added 10,000 comics and graphic novels from publishers including Marvel, Archie, Boom! Studios, Dynamite, IDW, and Valiant. These included series such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Daredevil, X-O Manowar, and The Avengers. However, in December 2016, comics were eliminated from the service due to low demand.
In February 2010, Scribd unveiled its first mobile plans for e-readers and smartphones. In April 2010 Scribd launched a new feature called "Readcast", which allows automatic sharing of documents on Facebook and Twitter. Also in April 2010, Scribd announced its integration of Facebook social plug-ins at the Facebook f8 Developer Conference.
Scribd rolled out a redesign on September 13, 2010 to become, according to TechCrunch, "the social network for reading".
In October 2013, Scribd launched its e-book subscription service, allowing readers to pay a flat monthly fee in exchange for unlimited access to all of Scribd's book titles.
The company was initially funded with US$120,000 from Y Combinator in 2006, and received over US$3.7 million in June 2007 from Redpoint Ventures and The Kinsey Hills Group. In December 2008, the company raised US$9 million in a second round of funding led by Charles River Ventures with re-investment from Redpoint Ventures and Kinsey Hills Group. David O. Sacks, former PayPal COO and founder of Yammer and Geni, joined Scribd's board of directors in January 2010.
In January 2011, Scribd raised an additional US$13 million in a round led by MLC Investments of Australia and SVB Capital. In January 2015, the company raised US$22 million in new funding from Khosla Ventures with partner Keith Rabois joining the Scribd board of directors.
In July 2008, Scribd began using iPaper, a rich document format similar to PDF built for the web, which allows users to embed documents into a web page. iPaper was built with Adobe Flash, allowing it to be viewed the same across different operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, and Linux) without conversion, as long as the reader has Flash installed (although Scribd has announced non-Flash support for the iPhone). All major document types can be formatted into iPaper including Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, OpenDocument documents, OpenOffice.org XML documents, and PostScript files.
All iPaper documents are hosted on Scribd. Scribd allows published documents to either be private or open to the larger Scribd community. The iPaper document viewer is also embeddable in any website or blog, making it simple to embed documents in their original layout regardless of file format. Scribd iPaper required Flash cookies to be enabled, which is the default setting in Flash.
On May 5, 2010, Scribd announced that they would be converting the entire site to HTML5 at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. TechCrunch reported that Scribd is migrating away from Flash to HTML5. "Scribd co-founder and chief technology officer Jared Friedman tells me: 'We are scrapping three years of Flash development and betting the company on HTML5 because we believe HTML5 is a dramatically better reading experience than Flash. Now any document can become a Web page.'"
Since 2010, Scribd has been available on mobile phones and e-readers, in addition to personal computers. As of December 2013, Scribd is available through the various app stores on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as the Kindle Fire and Nook tablets.
Scribd has been praised by several newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. The company has been dubbed the "Netflix for e-books" by Wired, and is a known pioneer of the "all-you-can-read" model for e-books. Its founders, Trip Adler and Jared Friedman, have been named to Forbes 30 Under 30 and Inc. 35 Under 35.
In April 2015, Los Angeles favorably reviewed Scribd's subscription service by saying, "Subscribing to Scribd is sort of like shopping at Trader Joes: you may not find every product you want, but it sure as hell is convenient, inexpensive, and downright delectable." Scribd has grown to more than 100 million users in 75 countries who use the site on a monthly basis. As of June 2015, the Scribd app has been downloaded 5.7 million times on Android and 3.3 million times on iOS.
Accusations of copyright infringement
Scribd has been accused of copyright infringement. In September 2009, American author Elaine Scott alleged that Scribd "shamelessly profits from the stolen copyrighted works of innumerable authors". Her attorneys sought class action status in their efforts to win damages from Scribd for allegedly "egregious copyright infringement" and accused it of calculated copyright infringement for profit. The suit was dropped in July 2010.
The Guardian writes, "Harry Potter author [J.K. Rowling] is among writers shocked to discover their books available as free downloads. Neil Blair, Rowling's lawyer, said the Harry Potter downloads were 'unauthorised and unlawful'...Rowling's novels aren't the only ones to be available from Scribd. A quick search throws up novels from Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Jeffrey Archer, Ken Follett, Philippa Gregory, and JRR Tolkien."
In July 2014, Scribd was sued by Disability Rights Advocates, on behalf of the National Federation of the Blind and a blind Vermont resident, for allegedly failing to provide access to blind readers, in violation of the Americans with Disability Act. Scribd moved to dismiss, arguing that the ADA only applied to physical locations. In March 2015, the U.S. District Court of Vermont ruled that the ADA covered online businesses as well. A settlement agreement was reached, with Scribd agreeing to provide content accessible to blind readers by the end of 2017.
To counteract the uploading of unauthorized content, Scribd created BookID, an automated copyright protection system that helps authors and publishers identify unauthorized use of their works on Scribd. This proprietary technology works by analyzing documents for semantic data, meta data, images, and other elements and creates an encoded "fingerprint" of the copyrighted work. BookID is available for free for authors and publishers whether or not they choose to make their content available through the Scribd platform.
Supported file formats
Supported formats include:
- Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx)
- Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pps, .pptx, .ppsx)
- Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
- OpenDocument (.odt, .odp, .ods, .odf, .odg)
- OpenOffice.org XML (.sxw, .sxi, .sxc, .sxd)
- Plain text (.txt)
- Portable Document Format (.pdf)
- PostScript (.ps)
- Rich text format (.rtf)
- Tagged image file format (.tif, .tiff)
- Amazon Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited
- Document collaboration
- Oyster (company)
- Wayback Machine
- "Scribd.com Traffic, Demographics, and Competitors". Alexa Internet. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
- Alter, Alexandra (April 16, 2015). "Scribd Expands Audiobook Catalog in Deal With Penguin Random House". The New York Times.
- Basich, Zoran (January 5, 2015). "The Daily Startup". The Wall Street Journal.
- Mac, Ryan (November 6, 2014). "Scribd Adds Audiobooks To All-You-Read Library, Piling Pressure On Amazon". Forbes.
- Kastrenakes, Jacob (April 16, 2015). "Scribd adds over 9,000 more audiobooks to better take on Audible". The Verge.
- "Scribd | Interview with its Co-Founder & CEO – Trip Adler". Cleverism. December 10, 2014.
- "Scribd". CrunchBase. TechCrunch. August 6, 2017. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- "Scribd - Read books, audiobooks, and more". Scribd. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- Carnoy, David (January 29, 2014). "Scribd extends e-book subscription app to Kindle Fire". CNet.
- Kellogg, Carolyn (January 5, 2015). "Scribd brings in $22 million to expand e-book subscription service". LA Times.
- Metz, Cade (October 1, 2013). "Scribd Challenges Amazon and Apple With 'Netflix for Books'". Wired. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Orin, Andy (June 11, 2014). "Behind the App: The Story of Scribd". Lifehacker.
- Schnuer, Jenna (November 8, 2013). "We Test It: Scribd's All-You-Can Read Digital Buffet". Entrepreneur. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Krasny, Jill (June 24, 2014). "Scribd: The Library of the Future?". Inc.
- "Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2010". Bloomberg.
- "Scribd". Y Combinator.
- MacMillan, Robert (October 7, 2009). "From the desk of [your news outlet] and Scribd". Reuters. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Schonfeld, Erick (December 31, 2008). "Scribd Had A Blowout Year, And So Did the Web Document". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Stone, Brad (May 17, 2009). "Site Lets Writers Sell Digital Copies". The New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
- Stone, Brad (July 11, 2009). "Simon & Schuster to Sell Digital Books on Scribd.com". The New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
- Stone, Brad (June 12, 2009). "Simon & Schuster to Sell Digital Books on Scribd.com". The New York Times.
- "Scribd to publish dissertations and theses". TeleRead. November 17, 2009.
- Gannes, Liz (August 4, 2010). "Prop 8 Ruling Is Scribd's Most Viral Doc Ever". Gigaom.
- Siegler, M.G. (September 7, 2010). "HP Confirms It Is Suing Mark Hurd For Potential Leakage Of Trade Secrets To Oracle". TechCrunch.
- Bosman, Julie (October 1, 2013). "HarperCollins Joins Scribd in E-Book Subscription Plan". The New York Times.
- Ha, Anthony (October 1, 2013). "With HarperCollins Deal, Scribd Unveils Its Bid To Become The Netflix For Books". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Ha, Anthony (March 26, 2014). "Scribd's Subscription E-Book Service Moves Into Travel With The Full Lonely Planet Library". Techcrunch.
- Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. (March 21, 2014). "Simon & Schuster, E-Book Services Strike Deal". The Wall Street Journal.
- Owen, Laura Hazard (May 21, 2014). "Simon & Schuster adds its books to ebook subscription sites Scribd and Oyster". Gigaom.
- Ha, Anthony (February 10, 2015). "Scribd Adds Comics From Marvel, IDW, And Others To Its Subscription E-Book Service". TechCrunch.
- "Scribd will change its subscription service from unlimited to semi-unlimited". TeleRead. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- "When did I get unlimited reading?". Scribd Help Center. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
- "Scribd's Membership". Scribd Help Center. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
- "How many books can I read each month?". Scribd Help Center. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
- Kastrenakes, Jacob (November 6, 2014). "Scribd expands its subscription library to include audiobooks". The Verge.
- Metz, Cade (November 6, 2014). "Scribd Rolls Out the Internet's First All-You-Can-Listen Audiobooks Service". Wired.
- Wright, Mic (April 16, 2015). "Scribd adds 9,000 Penguin Random House audiobooks including 'Game of Thrones'". The Next Web.
- Alter, Alexandra (April 16, 2015). "Scribd Expands Audiobook Catalog in Deal With Penguin Random House". The New York Times.
- Alba, Davey (February 10, 2015). "Scribd Unveils 'Netflix for Comics'". Wired.
- Fiegerman, Seth (February 10, 2015). "Scribd gains the superpower of an unlimited comic book subscription". Mashable.
- Mitroff, Sarah (February 10, 2015). "Scribd serves up all the comics you can read, for $9 per month". CNet.
- Fowler, Geoffrey A. (February 10, 2010). "Scribd Plans Mobile Application". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
- "Scribd gets 'Readcasting': Autosharing made easy". CNet. Retrieved April 21, 2010.
- "Scribd launches readcast". Marketwire. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
- "Scribd's bet on the Facebook Effect". CNN. April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 21, 2010.
- "Scribd Redesign Is An Attempt To Become A "Social Network For Reading"". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
- Carr, Austin (October 1, 2013). "Scribd, HarperCollins Launch $8.99 Subscription Book Service". Fast Company. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
- "Scribd Banks $3.5 Million from Redpoint".
- Takahashi, Dean (December 19, 2008). "Scribd raises $9 million, hires new president for social publishing". VentureBeat. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Arrington, Michael (January 18, 2010). "Yammer Founder David Sacks Joins Scribd Board Of Directors". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Kaplan, David (January 18, 2011). "Scribd Raises $13 Million To Support Mobile Moves, Product Expansion". Gigaom.
- Ha, Anthony (January 2, 2015). "Scribd Raises $22M For Its Subscription E-Book Service". TechCrunch.
- "iPaper: a Simple Way to View and Share Documents on the Web". Wired. February 20, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- "Scribd on your iPhone". Scribd. April 5, 2008.
- "Global Storage Settings panel". macromedia.com. Adobe. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Friedman, Jared (May 6, 2010). HTML5 and The Future of Publishing. Web 2.0 Expo. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Schonfeld, Erick (May 5, 2010). "Scribd CTO: We Are Scrapping Flash And Betting The Company On HTML5". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
- Albanese, Andrew Richard (July 26, 2010). "Betting the House on HTML5". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- "Scribd SAP Largest API Integration Press Release". Scribd. March 10, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
- "Scribd Developer Documentation". Archived from the original on July 28, 2015.
- "Press". Scribd. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
- Bercovici, Jeff; Inverso, Emily. "30 Under 30". Forbes.
- Harlander, Thomas (April 16, 2015). "E-Book Throwdown: Which Digital Library Service is Right for You?". LA Mag.
- Cooper, J.E. (June 1, 2015). "Authors, readers explore the digital world". SF Gate.
- "Scribd". XYO. June 29, 2015.
- Johnson, Bobbie (September 21, 2009). "Book sharing site Scribd rejects claims of copyright infringement". The Guardian. London.
- "Class Action Copyright Suit Filed Against Scribd... By Jammie Thomas' Lawyers?". TechDirt. September 21, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- Sandoval, Greg (September 19, 2009). "Jammie Thomas lawyers file suit against Scribd". Retrieved October 11, 2010.
- Rich, Motoko (September 19, 2009). "Jammie Thomas lawyers file suit against Scribd". CNET News.com. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
- "Lawsuit Saying Scribd's Copyright-Protection Filters Infringe On Copyrights Has Been Dumped". Scribd. TechDirt. July 19, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
- Kravets, David (July 19, 2010). "Lawsuit Dropped; Claimed That Copyright-Filtering Violates Copyright". Wired. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "Scribd looks like a winner". Scribd. TechCrunch. March 29, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
- Flood, Alison (March 30, 2009). "JK Rowling leads fight against free books site Scribd". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
- Stone, Brad (March 16, 2009). "Passwords of Comcast Customers Exposed". The New York Times. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- "Comcast passwords leaked onto the web". CNet. March 29, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
- "Comcast User Names and Passwords Exposed". HotHardware. March 29, 2009. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Gannes, Liz (July 27, 2010). "Leaked Facebook Movie Script Paints Zuckerberg as Vindictive and Naive". Gigaom.
- "Freedom on the Net – Turkey 2013". Freedom House. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- Adwar, Corey (August 20, 2014). "26-Year-Old Deaf-Blind Lawyer Sues Scribd For Alleged Discrimination". Business Insider. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "National Federation of the Blind, et al. v. Scribd, Inc". Disability Rights Advocates. July 14, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "BookID". Scribd. June 29, 2015.
- Kozlowski, Michael (October 13, 2014). "French Watchdog Accuses Scribd of eBook Piracy". Good eReader.
- "BookID for Authors and Publishers". Scribd. June 29, 2015.
- Jason (February 26, 2009). "Info, FAQs, and Forums/FAQ: Writing, Uploading and Managing Documents". Retrieved October 11, 2010.
Media related to Scribd at Wikimedia Commons