YouScribe, an African-Focused E-Library, Records over a Million Subscribers across the Continent

YouScribe, an African-Focused E-Library, Records over a Million Subscribers across the Continent

YouScribe, a Paris-based digital library that offers a seamless reading experience to its users in France and over 11 African countries, has announced that it has reached a million subscribers across Africa.

Juan Pirlot de Corbion, YouScribe’s founder and President said “Gaining a million subscribers so quickly in Africa is a source of great pride.” We have everything we need to expand our presence in Africa, both in countries where we already have a presence and in emerging markets where we hope to expand, such as Algeria and Egypt. Although Africa remains our primary focus, we may now broaden our efforts to any location where digital technology can improve and accelerate the spread of traditional books. Canada is an option, as are Benin, Togo, and Nigeria.”

Since its inception in 2011, YouScribe has expanded to cover 11 countries across the African continent, with over one million subscribers. Tunisia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Madagascar, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, and South Africa are among them.

With a sizable North and West African audience primarily, from Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Guinea, and Ivory Coast, more than half of African YouScribers are under the age of 34, and while men account for the majority (51%), women account for nearly as many (49%).

Because of this robust and sustained growth, the number of subscribers has increased by a factor of 20 in only three years.

YouScribe’s offerings include books, audiobooks, comic books, and press titles that can be accessed online via smartphones, tablets, and computers.

The platform, which claims to be Europe’s and Africa’s largest digital library, caters to all audiences, with a catalog that is updated daily and includes over a million eBooks, comic books, press titles, audiobooks, children’s literature, university reports, professional works, and music scores.

Juan Pirlot de Corbion, YouScribe's founder and President

Juan Pirlot de Corbion, YouScribe’s founder and President

YouScribe Work with African Publishers

YouScribe was founded to assist publishers in improving their catalog distribution through the use of digital technology, thereby assisting in the spread of language, culture, and information. If the rise of mobile readership, particularly on smartphones (86% of African readers), presents a golden opportunity for publishers to enter new markets, it also allows for more secure author compensation.

As a result, many of YouScribe’s 1,900 publishers are based in Africa, and they receive 60% of the company’s profits. The African audience on YouScribe prefers literature and works written in regional languages that are otherwise difficult to find. YouScribe places a high value on developing and making available an African catalog.

The library has also collaborated with Edi8, a division of Editis (Vivendi). Edi8 demonstrated its commitment to expanding its operations on the continent and its mission to provide a local, relevant, and diverse editorial offer across the continent by establishing its first African subsidiary in Côte d’Ivoire in 2022.

According to Vincent Barbare, President of Edi8, “we’ve discovered great writers and a steadily expanding audience in Africa, so we see publishing there as a key growth area for Edi8. The goals of Edi8 include encouraging people to read and developing local talent. The partnership with YouScribe is an important development vector because the streaming library model is particularly suited to applications and relevant for writer compensation, in addition to protecting against piracy.”

Factors Driving YouScribe’s Growth in Africa

YouScribe offers its services at an affordable price leveraging payment mechanisms tailored to the realities of the continent, such as micropayment via telecom operators, as well as its close relationship with publishers,

As a result, one of the company’s strategic partners is Digital Virgo, a global leader in mobile payment and digital marketing through billing solutions for telecom carriers. In each market where it launches, YouScribe forms partnerships with local publications, TV operators (Canal+ is present in 24 African nations with high growth), and cell phone carriers. As a result, YouScribe has formed alliances with organizations such as Orange, Maroc Telecom, Ooredoo, Moov, and Inwi. Orange has been a valuable partner in expanding the library across seven African countries since 2018.