Scribd calls it quits on comics in less than a year

JC Torres - Jan 3, 2017, 5:30 am CDT
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Scribd calls it quits on comics in less than a year

Let’s be honest. It may have not been the perfect pairing in the first place. Except to its faithful fans, or what’s left of them after this, Scribd is perhaps best known for sharing documents, papers, even legal documents. It later broke out into the ebook and audiobook markets and then, February last year, dared to compete with Comixology (ironically now owned by rival Amazon) by offering digital comics. Apparently that didn’t turn out so well because after making a big splash about its arrival, Scribd has silently pulled out those comics apparently since last month.

It’s hard to compete in the digital book market when you’re not Amazon. Even the few that are large enough to compete, like Kobo or Barnes & Noble, have a rough time doing so. And in the comics department, Comixology is the undisputed king of digital distribution, at least when it comes to mainstream titles and publishers. So Amazon practically holds most of the cards, and those cards are stacked against Scribd.

There’s really no shame in admitting defeat, but what seems to have irked Scribd’s remaining users the most is its silent treatment of the problem. According to them, the service just silently yanked out its comics collection without even an announcement or warning. Apparently, however, that has actually been the case since December 1.

Scribd insists that it has sent emails to its users informing them of the change in business. Either no one really reads emails from Scribd or no one really noticed. Either way, it’s not exactly a good sign of Scribd’s user community.

The bigger question now is “what’s next” for Scribd. This is the second time the service abruptly ended an offering that its bigger rivals already had a foot in. This time, Scribd admits that its comics distribution business didn’t exactly take off as it had hoped. Scribd is one of the few remaining alternative source of ebooks and audiobooks outside of the big companies and it won’t be surprising if it ends up scaling back to its original features in the very near future.

VIA: The Digital Reader


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