August 11, 2017

The bigger, the better.

Joining the ongoing wave of partnerships and consolidation sweeping the media industry this morning was Scribd, the on-demand reading startup that has ambitions to become the Netflix of text.

It announced on Friday a partnership with Zinio, which bills itself as the world’s largest digital magazine producer and distributor, to add 30 new magazine titles to its portfolio.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, and a representative for Scribd declined to provide them.

The partnership adds 30 magazines, some of them brand names like Runner’s World, Men’s Health and Maxim, to Scribd’s growing library of content. As with other on-demand services, such as Spotify and Netflix, Scribd’s ambition is to build a trove of content that its users will be willing to fork over a monthly subscription fee for. In May, Scribd reported that it had attained 500,000 subscribers paying $8.99 each.

Scribd offers publishers a variety of ways to monetize their stories, which appear on the company’s app. The terms include a fixed-fee license for a set of each publisher’s content, or a payment each time an article is read. Previously, the company cut deals with major news organizations including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and magazines like Time, Fortune and Bloomberg.

In a statement, Scribd CEO Trip Adler said the deal would allow the company to continue infusing the publishing industry with cash.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Zinio to more than double our magazine offering,” Adler said. “This partnership gives us another opportunity to put funds into the publishing ecosystem while increasing the value of our membership. It’s another big step towards changing the way the world reads.”

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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