vs. average for the Books category, $, by region
Scribd sells their subscription as “unlimited,” which is true...if what you’re after is an unlimited catalog of books you’ve likely never heard of and have no interest in reading/listening to. You can listen to between 1 and 3 popular or recent books, and then you’re prevented from reading other recent literary and/or popular titles until the following billing cycle. This is fine if you know it going in (a big if, as they’re not upfront about the details of their model for obvious reasons), but disappointing if you learn about it the hard way. I read and listen to upwards of 12 books a month, mostly recent releases. I was hoping to find a better model for my audiobook consumption (I listen 3-5 per month), but Scribd is not the one for me. It may work for you if you read significantly less or have an interest in backlist titles you’ve probably never heard of. I’m sure there are hidden gems in the part of the catalogue that’s always available, but my purpose in trying Scribd was to work through my massive TBR, not to waste hours of potential reading/listening time sifting through a virtual stack of books, the vast majority of which have little to no appeal to me. I’m left wishing that Scribd were honest about the service they offer—a couple of audiobooks per month for less than the price of one from the most popular audiobook distributor. That’s not a bad service to offer! But the mendacity of claiming the service is “unlimited” chafes me, so I’m out.
This would be a fantastic app if it wasn’t for the few issues I’ve had. It started when one of the books I was listening just mysteriously disappeared from the Papp with no warning at all (even though they’re supposed to tell you if it does, which will be an important point for the second issue). So I sent them an inquiry about it a few weeks ago and have yet to hear a reply. The BIGGEST issue came when I was listening to the The Wicked King. Now for this one, they were they actually sent me a notification saying the audiobook would leave Scribd on 2/16. An email I still haemve my copy of, by the way. Anyway, I tried playing The Wicked King one day and low and behold it stops working and I keep getting this message saying it’s not available. Well, this goes on for days and I send in another request for Customer Support. I hear nothing for weeks and so I email them about both tickets, and they email becomes a ticket number! I’ve never seen Customer Service take this long! I don’t think they even exist! Also, if you try to search for The Wicked King before 2/16, like I did just now, it doesn’t show up at all! Why say it’ll be there on until 2/16 when that’s clearly not true! Why don’t you send any emails out about these issues and update your customers? Customer Service just doesn’t seem to exist.
I listened to two audiobooks through this service in the first week of my free trial - it was amazing the collection they had and I thought I had found my nee favorite service! I was eager to add about ten audiobooks to my library as reminders for what I wanted to try and read next. However, after I finished my second book all but maybe 2-3 books were marked as unavailable until my next billing cycle. I was shocked because earlier in the day they had been available and I had no problems with their availability during that first week. The excuse the app provides is that it‘s due to the publisher, but the books had a wide variety of publishers and why would they suddenly be available the day after I renew my subscription? How does my billing date have anything to do with their publishers? The app clearly puts a cap on what kinds of titles they will allow you to read and their advertising is just blatantly problematic to suggest this is not the case. Also, I noticed as I was looking through ebooks which were about the only things I could find available a lot of them are uploaded by random people in odd formatting, so I feel like something much more questionable is going on with this service! Overall, I would not recommend any avid reader or listener use this service, clearly some type of scam!
It seems like a good app, but it’s important to know the limits on how many books you can have. I wish the app developers would build in a stratified system in which you can read or listen to a certain number of books before the second “unlimited” level becomes the only one available. I acknowledge it is probably difficult dealing with publishers, or even perhaps having publishers as a second “costumer.” Im assuming these relationships simply require too much complexity for the average user to understand. On the other hand, I’m wondering if there is a secondary gain to being less than up front about the service. To be fair, the first month is free, and they started pulling titles three weeks before the end of my trail month. I bet statistically fewer users back out once they have signed up though. Foot in the door technique is an old advertising game. I think most literary users can smell it and feel an animosity towards scribd even if that isn’t the developers intent. Who wants to feel anxiety about making the right choice on a book before the various content cut offs engage. Please read other review to learn more about the positives. Besides this complaint, I’ve been enjoying the app.
I’ve been a scribd subscriber since it first came out and it used to be amazing-even with a limited library the selections were enough to keep me entertained. Last few months they’ve started throttling my audible books every month to a seemingly obscene extent. When I brought it up to customer service last month they insisted I wasn’t being throttled but it had to do with licensing agreements and release dates for “certain titles” which is BS ... thing is there’s no way to “sample” an audible book without them dinging your usage-so if it’s a crappy book and I quit listening 5min, magically all the titles that WERE available prior to my preview are no longer available until the following month. You can’t convince me that’s not throttling-so “unlimited” audiobooks only applies under Scribd’s jacked up definition of the term. Ridiculously insulted at their scripted response from customer service trying to justify their methods and understand completely why you can’t CALL a customer service line🙄 you can only email and wait days for an unsatisfactory response. The product was way better at its conception. Gonna cancel my Scribd membership and double up on audible-at least they are transparent about exactly what you get for your money, you can preview a book before it counting against you, and if you have a concern-you can talk to a live person that actually values their subscribers and will do the right thing!
Scribd is great sometimes, some months there will be so many great books that it’s hard to pick what to read or listen to first. However, you should know that some months it’s also going to be almost useless. You know how with cell phone plans they will tell you that you have unlimited data, but then they massively slow down the speeds after you get to a certain amount of gigs used? Scribd is like this with its catalog. This month the main options I have available to me are old books with expired copyright, random unknowns, and Scribd originals. I have the ability to see that some books I want to listen to are on Scribd, but they are not available to me until the first of next month. I just paid this month’s bill cycle but now I’m going to get pretty much no usage out of it because I don’t have the option to read any of the more popular selections. Sometimes it’s worth the $10 per month and more so it’s not really enough to get me to cancel my subscription but it sure is frustrating, especially since I just paid for this month and I know that I won’t be able to get much use out of it despite having paid. If Scribd were more transparent about this then it might be less frustrating.
I did a free trial and was initially impressed. I read 20+ books per month and this seemed like an inexpensive way to access more books. However, as you use the app they throttle your content without warning and make most titles unavailable until after your next billing date. It’s underhanded and annoying - I would rather have known up front about these limits before I made a “to read” list of 100 books, none of which I am able to read before my free trial expires. I’m going to keep this and pay for one more month to finish a series but then cancel my subscription. Additionally, there are copious amounts of illegal ebooks on the site. I would search for a work or offer and find it offered as an epub uploaded by a random user, not an author or publishing house. Book piracy is bad and detrimental to authors and it doesn’t seem like scribd cracks down on it very much from my point of view. There is no way to flag or report a pirated book within the app. (If you read this, please do not search for pirated books. Get a library card and request titles, maybe borrow a friend’s library login to see more ebooks, take advantage of free books on kindle and other platforms, etc. Pirating books disrupts the entire ecosystem of the book world, hurts authors, and can prevent your favorite authors from publishing more books due to a lack of demand.)
This app is the best I’ve seen if it’s kind. You have so many options and they have brand new books very quickly. However, I’ve had an issue with the audiobooks for almost a month. The sound quality was awful and kept skipping. I contacted customer service right away and never received a response. I got tired of waiting for help and cancelled my membership because of it. I can’t justify paying for a service where I only get half of the benefits because the company won’t help me with a huge issue.Update- Scribd contacted me saying they’re backlogged on support tickets. They asked me to update This review with my ticket number so they could escalate my issue to the top of the queue. However, I’m not sure customer service is as backlogged as they stated. I opened a ticket after never receiving a reply on my original one and the next day it said ‘ticket closed’. No reply. Nothing. Just closed as if the issue had been resolved or at the very least addressed. So, I opened another ticket hoping it was just a fluke. Same thing happened. It was closed. Someone in customer service closed the tickets. So, maybe not so backlogged if they could close out my tickets so quickly. The app worked great for me for the year I used it. But I needed help with an issue on the app. I tried every outlet I could to get help before canceling.
It’s not unlimited. I can never read past 3 books without everything I have saved (over 270+) books becoming unavailable until the next pay period. As you listen to books, they start trickling away to be unavailable until If you are lucky enough to listen to a third book, they are all unavailable. They always say their catalog “rotates as you listen” but that is not true. I paid for two months and didn’t listen to one book to see what would happen and guess what? Nothing happened. No books became unavailable and not one over my 270+ saved books became unavailable until the next pay period. But guess what? I listened to one book this month and 70% of my saved books became unavailable right before the book was done. Then midway through my second, all of them became unavailable. Sometimes I’ve even had the second book I am listening to shut off halfway and become available next pay period. If you are someone who listens to a book a month maybe two if you are lucky, then sure, this app would work. But for someone who downloaded it and wanted the “unlimited” books, it’s a scam. And look at their real reviews and twitter complaints. People will cancel and still get charged. I mean hundreds of comments complaining of this. I think most of these high ratings are people who haven’t ran into this problem yet or only listen to a book a month.
I love listening to audiobooks. It’s a great way for me to pass time at work and while commuting. I don’t have the time to sit down and read a book due to my hectic schedule. That’s where Scribd came in. The advertised ‘unlimited’ was great and understood that some title might come and go from availability. However, this month, I’ve only listened to one audiobook and already have restricted titles. I truly wish Scribd would take customers into account with this sort of thing and try to create a solution instead of their auto-generated responses. I’d be willing to pay an extra charge for “truly unlimited” or even if they offer “5 audiobook listens per month.” The fact that they say unlimited* with the asterisk puts everything up in the air. I wish I knew exactly what I would be getting each month. Perhaps creating a tiered program and being more transparent would avoid the upset customers because we would truly know what we are getting into for the price. Let me be clear, I truly enjoy using Scribd. My only app issue is that I wish it told me exactly how long I have left of a book instead of “7 hour” which could mean anywhere from 7 hours to 7 hours and 59 minutes. I think Scribd is an inexpensive way for busy bibliophiles to get their fix but I think there are issues that Scribd needs to hammer out if they want to keep their customers truly satisfied.
Join the millions of readers who turn to Scribd's digital library for audiobooks, ebooks, magazine articles, podcasts, sheet music selections, and research documents. "Put an entire library in your pocket with a subscription to Scribd." - Entrepreneur "Scribd is a massive library that's home to millions of books, audiobooks, magazines … and even sheet music. (Sheet music!)" - Mashable "The fact that I could have access to all the greatest minds, mysteries, and stories for $9.99 a month was (and still is) crazy to me." - Business Insider Scribd's digital library includes bestselling and trending audiobooks and ebooks in every genre, including: • True Crime • Fiction • Personal Growth • Science Fiction • Biography • Health and Wellness • Personal Growth • Children • Cookbooks • Entertainment • Travel • Celebrity Narrated Memoirs • Religion and Spirituality • YA • Self-Help • Romance • Business • Politics • Current Events A Scribd subscription also includes access to: • Sheet music selections that cover every musical genre, instrument, and difficulty level. Play the classics or explore current hits from popular artists. • Articles from hundreds of magazines including People, Time, The Atlantic, Entrepreneur, and more. • Access to the world's largest document library, which has more than 60 million documents including official government reports, case studies, study guides, academic dissertations, medical reports, and more. All content read or listened to on Scribd can be synced across multiple devices, and there are special features that are included in your subscription at no additional cost, including: FEATURES FOR THE AUDIOBOOK LISTENER • Customize your narration speed • Set a sleep timer • Download audiobooks to listen offline FEATURES FOR THE EBOOK READER • Download ebooks to read offline • Make notes and annotations, and add bookmarks • Customize your font size, type, and background color • Choose horizontal or vertical page scrolling FEATURES FOR THE DOCUMENT / EPUB READER • Download documents to read offline • Save or print your documents Our monthly subscription starts at $9.99 and automatically renews unless the subscription is canceled at least 24 hours prior to the next billing date. • Payment will be charged to your iTunes account at confirmation of purchase. • Subscriptions may be managed by the user and auto-renewal may be turned off by going to the user's Account Settings after purchase. • Any unused portion of a free trial period, if offered, will be forfeited when the user purchases a subscription to that publication, where applicable.