Back in March, I reported that Scribd.com had just entered the monetization phase of its New Media Life Cycle. As the name indicates, this phase is marked by mainstream users finding ways to monetize their content. Well, it was heavily reported last week that Scribd now has a “Scribd Store” with a very attractive monetization program for users.
Taking a cue from Apple’s App Store, the Scribd program lets its users upload their content, name their price, and keep a flat 80% of revenues. Users will also be able set their own DRM options for their works.
It’s a savvy move for Scribd. They’ve grown their channel and helped define the e-publishing platform by offering a wide variety of valuable content. It’s key for the growing field of e-writers out there, struggling to find relevance as print declines and the iPhone and Kindle rise. The timing in relation to Amazon’s recently released Kindle 2.0 can’t be coincidence either.
Do I belong on Scribd?
If you’re producing documents that you’d normally print, definitely. From short stories, to white papers, to full corporate PowerPoint presentations, Scribd is an excellent channel for broadening the reach of your documents. Marketing departments and agencies can now monetize particularly valuable presentation decks. For marketers, this is an excellent opportunity to show off your work and reach a new audience ready to consume a more traditional media format. Consider offering a free “lite” presentation with just a few key slides. Then charge for a full version. Here’s a very robust and well-produced presentation on leveraging social media.
Lessons from Saturday Night Live’s Digital Word of Mouth Strategies
Now, not only am I better informed about the value of social media, but I’ve made two new agency contacts. Scribd as a networking tool and learning channel.
The key (as always) is high-quality, relevant content.
As the pay structure is implemented and the channel is adopted by more professionals hoping to monetize their own content, the overall quality of content can only increase, and the proverbial cream will rise to the top. Make sure that the print content you are producing has inherent value to the potential readership. As a site’s value increases, its users become more discerning. To reach the monetization stage in the life cycle, a platform has met a growing expectation of quality content. I can get together with 9 friends to shoot hoops and call it a game, but good luck charging $75 a pop to get people to watch us.
If your business wants to share its message/strategy/learnings with a like-minded community, Scribd is the place. With the new store, you may even be able to make some money with it. It’s an excellent channel for repurposing the content you’re already creating, whether in retail professionally, on your blog/website, or typing furiously into your netbook in the corner of a Starbucks.
My Question to You
Is Scribd the future of “printed” language, and will the further adoption of Scribd, the Kindle, and the iPhone continue to erode traditional print publications? Are you looking to e-publishing channels in your line of work? How will you employ it?