Whether you’re on your fifth lockdown or your second,  life in the time of Covid-19 has changed how we view in-home entertainment options. As a consequence, our need for high quality subscription business models has become more sophisticated as our knowledge and use becomes more nuanced.

Welcome to Scribd – your one stop online platform providing a vast catalogue of diverse information in multiple formats.

Before we start, I’d like to thank my fellow Editors for their input into this review.  We all have different interests, likes and dislikes, so why not utilise this diversity and combined our shared Scribd experiences for the good of well,  you!

Why Scribd

The importance of a nameScribd offers the world’s largest collection of eBooks, magazines, audiobooks, podcasts, documents and sheet music in one easily downloaded app or via their website.

With over 60 million documents, those first tentative steps of a fledgling company in 2007 have grown into an open publishing powerhouse for both professional and amateur publishers.

Scribd has partnered with all the reputable major publishing houses including Simon & Schuster, MacMIllan, HarperCollins, Lonely Planet, Time, Harvard Business Review and The New York Times, etc to bring diverse and current content.

According to Dalma Szentpaly at publishdrive.com, publishing on Scribd is also lucrative; loss of print sales in-store due to Covid-19 resulted in a 10-20% monthly growth in subscriptions in 2020. No doubt this has increase exponentially in 2021 as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to reign.

The open publishing platform allows anyone to ‘quickly and easily share ideas with the world’. It encourages care for the customer and community, is inspired by meaningful interactions through a shared love of reading and is dedicated to sustainability.  In 2019 Scribd launched Scribd Originals which brings exclusive inhouse publishing content to subscribers. With over 100,000,000 visitors per month, their Time Tech Pioneer co-founders have certain realised their vision tenfold.


Scribd Catalogue

Scribd subscribers have unprecedented access to a vast catalogue spanning all genres and formats. The option to read the e-book or listen to an audiobook of the same title gives you choice of format  and  delivery.




Scribd’s magazine selection is incredibly diverse from science based CuriosityStream and hobby enthusiasts’ Australian Flying to Gourmet cooking, Technology, Lifestyle and popular content offerings.   Australian and international magazines are available; the variety is broad and covers all interests.





Scribd texts


Honestly, there’s a lot to choose across multiple genres including crime, travel, fiction, non-fiction, politics, history and so on. But if you’re looking for the New York Time’s Best Seller List you might need to curtail your expectations as not all 2021’s Top 10 were available.   In terms of famous authors, there’s multiple format options including e-book and audiobook format for authors such as JK Rowling, Anne Rice, Tom Clancy and Robert Kiyosaki.

Scribd App

Scribd App Logo

Scribd’s Reader App is supported on Android 5, Lollipop, IOS 11 and above. This increases your choice of devices on which to download, including the Kindle Fire, your phone, tablet and pc.

However, e-Ink Kindle and Kobo readers are unsupported as they have proprietary technology that does not allow third party application installation.  Of course,  e-ink readers are best for text-based novels and you’d be missing out on the experience of coloured magazines, comics and audiobooks anyway.

Chinh rates Scribd’s App as minimalistic at best; the basic bookmark, highlighting (only in blue) and sharing quotes isn’t exactly feature packed with functionality.  To be honest, I don’t mind a simple app, especially when I’m driving and changing my listening options. But if I was using it for marking up reading matter the app would soon become frustrating.


Scribd Syncing

Having just finished 9 hours of online listening, I’ve been very impressed with the seamless transition between mobile app and computer.  In the interests of research, I quickly logged in to check the transition from mobile app to desktop. No dramas, easily sync’d and I was back listening to string theory and space exploration 4 billion years in the future. The desktop even told me it was taking me to my last listening point which was handy.


Scribd App Issues

The app/site offers the option to play audio books at different speeds but it is limited to x0.8 speed.   As a fast reader, I personally found this frustrating and ended up reading the book online. I also downloaded the audio version for when I’m driving. It works for me but may not for you.

The site can be a little slow but, as I live in regional NSW and enough said about the NBN, this may be more of a bandwidth issue as opposed to site gremlins. We recommended you download your chosen e-book in advance to ensure a fluid reading experience.

In a weird twist of events, I managed to have different chapters playing simultaneously via the app in the car – twice.  The first time I put it down to user error, the second time was heading into glitch territory.  The only way to resolve the issue was to completely turn off car play as the app refused to close. It was weird but not a deal breaker.


Scribd Comparison

There’s a lot of subscriber content out there from Audible, apple books, Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime. They’re all  dynamic and serving the needs of subscribers in their own way. Kindle Unlimited has a larger and more complete selection of publications as well as a very well thought out app.  Audible boasts 400,000 titles and a pre-selection of Australian content but has content limitations.

Scribd comes to the fore with an extensive list of titles to satisfy even the most discerning of bibliophiles. Scribd’s audiobook offering is comparable across all platforms. Scribd documents section includes research papers, books and guides you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Scribd also offers the capacity to snapshot documents; pretty useful for a brief synopsis of storyline and better than reading the last page to see how it ends… looks innocent.


Scribd Fine print

Some subscribers have observed throttling of their accounts, allegedly due to algorithm changes to reduce content provision value. Ie. They’re able to download two e-books or only three audio books; any further content is labelled ‘available soon’.

Indeed, the  Scribd Terms and Conditions note unusually high volume users may have their accounts limited at the discretion of Scribd.   But what constitutes ‘high volume’ is not defined and I suspect, differs depending upon perceived demand and logged usage.

Nonetheless, I had no issue with content downloads and my fellow editors made no mention either. We’ve read and listened to a lot of e-books/audio books between us; we honestly didn’t notice any limiting of the account or publication access unavailability.



Yes, we can highly recommend Scribd.  The search engine works well and the vast catalogue makes it a force majeure in online subscriptions.  The app is simple but effective and easily syncs across all devices including car, phone, iPad and desktops/laptops.

Scribd is available for AUD$13.99 per month subscription (trial for free for 30 days) providing unlimited access to all services.

Head over to scribd.com and you can create your account via the desktop site or via the app of your chosen device. Apps available at your device app store.


The Editors at Digital Reviews would like to thank Scribd for the opportunity to trial the platform. Oh,  and have an excuse to burrow ourselves into the various digital offerings under the pretence of ‘work’.  Now if Scribd could wrangle a scented app option so the e-books/audiobooks smell of oud leather, I would honestly pay extra!