Scribd, an app for Android and Apple devices, offers a way to read ebooks that's a break from the norm: by subscription. Similar to online video streaming sites that give paying users unlimited access to content for a monthly fee, Scribd lets app users download and read as many ebooks as they wish for $8.99 per month. Now that the app has been successfully operating for more than one year, its creators have made public the data collected by Scribd, which offers some interesting insights into the habits of readers worldwide.
Book Business published an infographic released along with the data that highlighted some of the most impressive and telling facts. For example, Scribd users in one year alone read 1 billion pages in over 17 million hours. The top categories of books opened were Romance, Business, and Mind, Body & Spirit. However, the top categories of books finished were different: Romance, Fiction, and Kids & YA. The distinction between these two types of data seems to reveal a trend in reading habits for different genres. Works that have a narrative beginning to end are much more likely to be finished, whereas books made of component parts like manuals on how to run a business or relieve stress—which have clear Table of Content pages and formats with headings and bullet points designed to be digested quickly and easily—are more likely to be opened, perused, and discarded once readers feel they have enough understanding of the topic. Given Scribd's business model, this habit is expected to be amplified, as readers get access to unlimited books and may not feel obligated to finish a book they didn't pay list price for.
Scribd also provided data on its interactive functions that let readers bookmark and highlight text to return to later or share with friends. The most highlighted texts were in the Religion, Business, and Mind, Body & Spirit categories, books more likely to be studied and referenced on multiple reads. This kind of information may be useful to publishers and those involved in the pricing of ebooks, who may be inclined to increase prices of books that have more long-term value. The most highlighted book of the entire year? Wine for Dummies.
With readers in all but two countries in the world and texts in 80 languages, Scribd is a young but promising app on the ebook front. Click here to view the entire infographic.