After launching the category with much fanfare in early 2015, Scribd, the e-book subscription service, has quietly ended subscription access to comics and graphic novels.
Scribd launched the comics category in early 2015 with 10,000 titles from such comics publishers as IDW/Top Shelf, Archie Comics, Dynamite, Zenescope, and Boom! Studios (although none from the big two American comics publishers, Marvel and DC). The category offered a wide variety of content from superhero comics to indie graphic novels.
Scribd appears to have ended the comics service sometime in December 2016. In a statement to PW, Scribd confirmed that the comics subscription access has ended:
“We launched comics in 2015, and while we were excited to bring new content to our readers, few actively took advantage of them. We will be focusing our efforts on enhancing the experience surrounding our other great content types including books, audiobooks, magazines, and documents.”
“We alerted comic readers of the news via email in early December,” the statement continued. “We understand that this news is disappointing to comic readers. This was a difficult decision, and we hope that they’ll explore the rest of what Scribd has to offer in the coming months.”
Initially Scribd called the launch of the comics subscription category “explosive for us, with the biggest response and fastest adoption we’ve ever seen.”
Nevertheless, the popularity and growing consumer dominance of Comixology, Amazon’s digital comics marketplace, probably sealed the fate of Scribd’s subscription comics service. Currently subscription access to digital comics is offered via Comixology Unlimited, Marvel Unlimited, Archie Unlimited, and Comic Blitz, a smaller subscription service that launched in October 2015.