Scribd is giving certain news sites that use its document sharing service to embed legal filings and PDFs the chance to stick their own logos on the company’s reader. So far, Scribd has arrangements with The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Mediabistro (full disclosure, the company is also exploring a similar deal with paidContent). Scribd is promoting the reader as a way for news sites to get links back to their original stories when other sites feature the same document. The use of the branded reader is free. Eventually, Scribd expects to use the reader to strike ad sharing deals with its readers’ brand partners. Beyond working with media companies, Scribd is also trying to attract government organizations and academics to its branded reader and accompanying services.
Over the past few months, Scribd has sought to raise its profile — and its revenues — by opening up an e-commerce store, where publishers and authors keep 80 percent of the sales revenue from their works. No word yet on what sort of advertising share program Scribd is thinking of or when it expects to start that phase of its business.