Scribd no longer offers digital comics on its platform and has removed over a thousand single issues and graphic novels. The company found it economically unfeasible to pay the significant royalties for every comic book read, and decided to simply suspend the service, rather than try to keep it running.
The following statement was released by Scribd “We launched comics in 2015, and while we were excited to bring new content to our readers, few actively took advantage of it. We will be focusing our efforts on improving the experience surrounding our other major content types, including books, audiobooks, magazines, and documents.
“We alerted comic book readers to the news via email in early December. We understand that this news is disappointing for comic book readers. It was a tough decision, and we hope they explore the rest of what Scribd has to offer in the months to come.
Scribd has faced a number of challenges over the past few years, despite most of their competitors leaving the field. They first removed over 225,000 romance and self-published e-books from their platform, then announced that they had scaled down their audiobook system because they were losing money. They’ve ditched their unlimited audiobook plan and subscribers can only listen to one title per month. In 2016, they changed their business model from an unlimited service to a credit-based service. Each month, users receive three credits that they can use to read eBooks or listen to audiobooks. There is a small group of Scribd Select titles which can be played without spending credits and today there is a new blog post which lists a number of titles.
Over the past two years, many Scribd loyalists have fled and embraced Amazon Kindle Unlimited. the Codex Group reported in their April 2015 consumer survey, 12.4% of e-book consumers have a Kindle Unlimited subscription. In comparison, only 1.4% of respondents said they had a Scribd subscription.
Good e-Reader Research also has Kindle Unlimited as the most dominant player in the field. In a recent study, 117 people voted on which membership site they were most interested in. Amazon got 52% of the vote, while Scribd got 28.21%.