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Written by:
Martin Barrett
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Scribd Vs MasterClass

Scribd Vs MasterClass: Honest Review 2023

When it comes to learning more information and skills online, you don’t have to sign up for a full course.

Thanks to the power of the internet, you can now learn online in a ton of different methods and ways that best suit your learning style. 

So, you may want to think out of the box when it comes to learning more about a particular subject or skill.

A lot of people are turning to audio learning through audiobooks, magazines and more – and one great platform to use is Scribd

Another popular laidback learning platform is MasterClass which uses recorded lectures from celebrities and field experts – but if you are interested in learning through both these mediums, which one should you choose?

Here we are going to be comparing Scribd and MasterClass to see what each platform has to offer, and then compare them together to see which one comes out on top.

Check out the information below to find the right platform for you. 

About Scribd And MasterClass

Before we start with our comparison, let’s first check out the background of each platform and how they work.

This way, you can have a better general idea of what both have to offer.

About Scribd

Scribd is an online e-book and audiobook subscription service which allows its users to access over a million different titles.

It also offers magazines, news articles, and podcasts, as part of its extensive library.

This has led some to refer to Scribd as ‘Netflix for books’. 

Scribd was first launched way back in 2007 and over the years, has grown into one of the world’s largest audible subscription platforms.

As a company, Scribd values sustainability and providing people with inspiration and knowledge through the media of audio and text.

During the COVID19 pandemic, Scribd opened up its library for free, allowing anyone to access their titles so people could find comfort and entertainment through troubling times – a testament to the company’s care for people.

So, unlike a lot of othe education platforms we discuss on this website, Scribd is not a ‘course’ provider.

Despite this, it’s still a great source of information that you can use to your advantage.

Some people prefer to learn through independent reading or listening, rather than being taught through webinars or test-taking.

So, Scribd is a valuable platform used to educate users about a range of topics. 

About MasterClass

MasterClass is an online educational platform which works by a subscription model.

Signing up gives you access to over 180 classes, each one recorded by a celebrity expert in the topic’s field.

A few examples include John Legend teaching songwriting, Gordon Ramsey teaching cooking, and Misty Copeland teaching ballet technique. 

MasterClass was originally founded in 2014 as Yanka Industries, set up by a student at Stanford University.

At the time, MasterClass only had three instructors and twelve individual classes, but now the website has over 180 classes spread over various topics. 

Compared to other online educational platforms, MasterClass is best known for its laid-back teaching and flexibility.

There’s no tests, no enrollment – you just celebrities teaching skills and wisdom they have learnt over their careers. 

Scribd Vs MasterClass

So, both Scribd and MasterClass are alternative ways to access learning online – but how do they differ from one another, and which one is the better for you?

Range Of Subjects And Resources

The main benefit of both MasterClass and Scribd is that it offers full access to its resources once you sign up (see also ‘The 9 Best Masterclass Alternatives & Competitors For Taking Online Courses‘) (see also ‘The 9 Best Masterclass Alternatives & Competitors For Taking Online Courses‘).

With other online education platforms, you are forced to pay for just a single course, while MasterClass and Scribd give their users full access to all of what is on offer at each respective platform. 

MasterClass offers over 180 classes stretching across a range of subjects including writing, game development, wellness, business, and so much more.

Each class is structured with numerous videos, each one professionally filmed and the content taught by a professional celebrity from each respective field.

However, there’s no transcript of these videos or any other additional resources you can use. 

On the other hand, Scribd offers both text and audio versions of many different books and titles, although don’t expect to find every single book in  their library.

Scribd Vs MasterClass

Overall, there are over a million titles available through Scribd and they even offer access to podcasts, articles, and even sheet music! 

As for topics, Scribd’s titles range from fiction to nonfiction, covering all kinds of topics.

Art, history, music, sport, science, and more! You can access a range of magazines and news articles from the Guardian, Los Angeles Times, TIME, Esquire, and more. 

So, in terms of content, Scribd has the bigger catalog touching on more topics, plus it offers plenty of text and audio media.

On the other hand, MasterClass also offers a range of lessons in different subjects but nowhere near the numbers that Scribd boasts. 


Both Scribd and MasterClass allows you to access their resources on any smart device, which means that as long you have a device with an internet connection and a screen, you are good to go.

You can access both Scribd’s library and MasterClass’s catalog of videos on your phone, smart TV, tablet, computer, and more.

This means you can also learn while on the go and check out both platforms during your commute, breaks, and just before going to sleep. 

Plus, Scribd and MasterClass both make their libraries available to users once they have signed up.

There’s no waiting for classes to begin, or enrolling for a course – you just pick what you want to learn and go.

You don’t need any past experience to access certain courses or eBooks as both MasterClass and Scribd users have total access to everything from the moment they sign up. 

This makes both Scribd and MasterClass super accessible for many people – but Scribd takes the crown once more.

Why? Because it offers both audio and visual media for those with sight or audio impairments. 

With MasterClass, there’s no transcription of the lessons on offer.

This means you have to watch and listen to each lesson – but if you have hearing difficulties, you will struggle to use MasterClass.

Sure, there are subtitles but offering transcripts would make MasterClass more accessible. 

Scribd offers both audiobooks and ebooks so you can choose which method of learning you prefer. As a result, this wins it for us in this category. 


Affordability is a big factor that students need to consider before they sign up to an online course.

Courses can range from as little as $25 to thousands of dollars, but they can also range in length and quality. 

Luckily, both Scribd and MasterClass offer affordable prices to access their range of services.

Both offer a subscription based model so you can access all of the resources on offer for just one payment per month.

For many, a subscription service works better because you can browse through all that the platform has to offer rather than being confined to just one course and subject. 

With both Scribd and MasterClass, you can sign up and then flit from one resource to another.

You  can switch from an art class to a sport class in MasterClass, or pick up a new title every day with Scribd – all a part of both platform’s respective subscriptions. 

For Scribd, you just need to pay $9.99 each month.

There’s no separate plans, no upselling – just pay the one single price per month and you get to access everything. 

For MasterClass, the concept is the same but the price is different.

MasterClass will cost you a minimum of $15, or you can pay a lump sum of $180.

MasterClass also offers additional plans but these allow more people to access your MasterClass classes at the same time – kind of like Netflix’s screen sharing ability.

No matter how much you pay, you still get access to all the same classes and courses, it’s just that if you want your family or friends to share your account, only one person can access their course at a time. 

MasterClass’s other plans include a Duo plan for $240 a year which allows two devices to be used simultaneously, or their Family plan for $276 which allows up to 6 devices. 

As for free trials, only Scribd offers one. Scribd offers a one month free trial while MasterClass does not, but you can sign up to MasterClass and get your money back within the first 30 days if you cancel.

So, in terms of affordability, Scribd is the most affordable as it costs less per month than MasterClass.

Plus, Scribd offers far more resources so it will take you much longer to work through all of its titles. 

And The Winner Is

If it’s access to valuable resources, different mediums, and all for a super affordable price, then Scribd is the way to go.

However, not everyone prefers to learn through reading. Although Scribd does offer thousands of audio books, MasterClass does have a certain charm to it due to its celebrity instructors and high production quality. 

So, which is better for you comes down to your preferred learning style.

If you prefer independent reading, Scribd is the better platform for you.

On the other hand, if you prefer learning through audio and recorded lectures from those who made it big in their field, then MasterClass might be your preferred choice

So, take a look at the comparison above and think about which platform appeals to you the most. Good luck!

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