Scribd is giving college and graduate students access to its library of digital content, plus a subscription to The New York Times, at what it says is a 40 percent discount on the combination.
CEO Trip Adler told me students already make up a significant portion of the subscribers who pay to read e-books, audiobooks, magazine articles and more. (We’ve described Scribd as an all-you-can-read service, but that’s not quite accurate anymore, as it limits access to some of its titles through a monthly credit system.)
The company recently expanded into newspaper articles, so Scribd subscribers can already read select New York Times content. The new Essential Student Bundle, however, includes a full access to the Times library — Adler explained that while Scribd will handle all the billing, subscribers will get a separate login to the NYT website and apps.
To sign up, a student verifies their status through SheerID, then they make a one-time, $29.99 payment that covers a four-month period. (That breaks down to $1.87 per week.)
Adler added that this is just the first of what could be a number of different bundling options that Scribd offers. And they won’t necessarily be limited to students.
“Obviously, we’re big fans of the subscription model for media,” he said, but he argued that with so many different options out there, there’s a risk of “subscription fatigue” — so bundling different services into one subscription is a way to fight that. “This is just the beginning of what could be a really interesting new strategy and direction.”