I received an email from Scribd late yesterday informing me “some of the audiobooks in my library would be expiring soon.” Curious, I went to the site and saw that MANY of the audiobooks in my listening queue had an expiring banner, in particular the new releases. Looking into this further I saw a letter from the CEO on the Scribd blog announcing a change to the audiobook plan:
Today, we’re letting you know that we’re going to be transitioning our audiobook service to a credit–based system. Starting on September 20, you will receive one audiobook credit as part of your monthly subscription to use toward any title in Scribd’s audiobook catalog.
It’s disappointing to me that they are moving to a credit-based model, and especially that the company did not inform subscribers of the change directly. (It was quietly announced on the Scribd blog Friday night) I guess unlimited listening for $8.99 was too good to be true!
Scribd does state that there “will be a a rotating catalog of thousands of audiobooks for unlimited listening.” So you could use your $8.99 credit for one paid audiobook and then keep listening to the free titles in the catalog. You could also pay an additional $8.99 for more audiobook credits. I think at that point it’s the better deal to get an Audible account where you can own the audiobooks you buy, take advantage of their great member sales and enjoy their superior app.
I have been kind of a Scribd cheerleader on this blog and wrote a post celebrating the audiobook service. Many of you have taken advantage of the free trial offer here (I am not a Scribd affiliate and get no incentive if you join) so I feel an obligation to give an update on the service. I am seriously bummed about this news! Now I know how Romance fans felt when Scribd slashed their Romance catalog.
The change takes effect September 20 so listen to all your expiring books before then if you can! Maybe the unlimited audiobook catalog will be appealing but I’ll have to wait and see if I keep my subscription. I have only used Scribd for audiobooks so it’s not attractive enough for me to stay with this new model.
Here are some other Scribd alternatives:
Your public library! It’s free; you can use the OverDrive digital library or check out physical audiobooks. I put new releases on hold so that they will auto-checkout with the release date. I use WorldCat to find which library has the audiobook I’m looking for.
Audible – Get a free credit when you join and choose a membership plan that works for you. The one-credit plan is $14.95. There are also great audio deals on Amazon matchmaker (buy the kindle book and get a discounted audio companion) plus member sales.
Audiobooks.com – They also have a $14.95 one-credit plan and an app,
Downpour – Membership is $12.95 and gets you one DRM-free audiobook download or you can rent audiobooks for 30-60 days for $7.95.
What do you think of Scribd’s new audiobook plan? And let me know your favorite places to get audiobooks!