Amidst the price wars of content between Amazon and Apple, Scribd, the giant content sharing site, has launched a program to make its 10 million books, articles and documents compatible with the full spectrum of readers and mobile devices. Once considered to be the “YouTube” of document services, Scribd has become a hub for authors who can’t afford to self publish, and a social network for readers of similar interests. The site is currently home to more than 200,000 books, and is growing by about 10 percent a month.
CEO Tripp Adler describes a two pronged “mobile deployment” program. The first part of the attack is to make Scribd books compatible with Amazon’s Kindle and other mobile reading devices. Currently, Kindle owners can download from Scribd by using the wireless connection. Amazon charges 15 cents per megabyte for the transfer. This month, Scribd will release software that can be embedded into devices to give users “two click” access to its catalog. The second part of the program is an assortment of device specific applications that will allow smartphones to store the books on the phone’s hard drive.
Even though Amazon and Apple might not welcome all that free content to compete with their not-so-free offerings, Scribd has found a way to get around their approval. And they’ve done it by cutting software syncing tools and extra computers.