Despite being one of the oldest subscription services for digital books, Scribd rarely makes the industry headlines, preferring to pursue a path of quiet but steady development.
Those who remember the early days of subscription will remember Scribd and Oyster going head to head in the US, and when Oyster fell few doubted Scribd’s days were numbered.
When Amazon decided it too would launch an ebook subscription service it seemed to many to be the final nail in Scribd’s coffin.
Scribd had other ideas.
In 2019 Scribd is still with us, and started this year with a wake up call that it was still in the subscription game, announcing it had surpassed one million subscribers.
Now Scribd announces an impressive revamp of its Mexico presence with a new “localized reading experience for the Mexico market” that offers over 60,000 Spanish-language titles.
In a press release Scribd explains,
Over the past few years, Scribd has seen a significant increase in readers from Mexico engaging with its digital library of ebooks and audiobooks, which led to the company’s decision to build a first-class reading experience in the country. In addition to making several improvements to localize the product experience and enhance content recommendations, the company has established new relationships with publishing partners to diversify the content offering. Partners include leading Spanish-language publishers such as Planeta, Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial, Anagrama, Sexto Piso and El Colegio de México.
The localization efforts for the Mexico market are a key piece of Scribd’s larger expansion strategy in Latin America, which represents an enormous opportunity for the company to establish itself as a global reading service and further the company’s mission: to change the way the world reads.
Scribd currently has over 1 million paying subscribers and draws in more than 100 million unique visitors to its platform per month. The full catalog includes over 1 million premium titles and 80 million documents, and readers have spent 190 million hours of reading on the platform to date.
These are remarkable numbers, so it should come as no surprise that Scribd has enhanced its Mexico offering.
The surprise is that it has taken so long – Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, Storytel and Ubook are already there – and that it is not happening more often.
Being everywhere is of course half the battle, but the other half is in localised engagement with content suppliers and with audiences.
Storytel, which also crossed the one million subscriber mark this year –
exemplifies this approach, and its success speaks for itself.
Glocalisation (globally local) remains one of Scribd’s weak points.
As an American company with a global presence Scribd is doing a great job, but if it is to get that next million subscribers before Storytel then we need to see more glocalised initiatives like Mexico.