DocStoc Expands Online Marketplace; Adds Paid Subscription Format

Docstoc, the online document-sharing service aimed at small business users, is expanding the online store is it opened last summer to bring in individuals. The new service augments the partner marketplace, which is mainly intended for larger publishers in the small biz, legal and real estate markets, as well as the advertising DocStoc runs on the free section of the site, CEO Jason Nazar (image, left) told paidContent. The site is also adding tiered subscriptions. Users can sign up for a free “basic” membership, which lets them view all the site’s 8 million-plus documents. On the paid side, users can opt for the “pro” and “pro plus” rates.

In addition to viewing all the site’s docs, the “pro” level allows downloading that covers half-a-million docs, as well as access to 250-plus “premium” material. The “pro” rate costs $24.95 per month and also includes weekly “document packages.” The “pro plus” plan charges $11.95 per month — $143.40 annually — for all of the aforementioned benefits as well as unlimited online document storage and a completely ad-free experience.

Among the attributes of the new buying and selling system that are intended to attract a wave of smaller sellers, DocStoc will split revenues 50/50 with publishers and authors. On top of that, for the first 60 days an e-book goes on sale, DocStoc will let publishers keep 100 percent of the revenues. DocStoc will also let publishers and bloggers sell the documents from their own sites.

Like the larger document sharing site, Scribd, DocStoc believes it can capitalize on the wider adoption of e-readers. Unlike Scribd, which has been working on securing deals with major publishers like Simon & Schuster, DocStoc’s focus is a bit more narrow, which Nazar says allows it to target readers and sellers more easily.