McGraw-Hill and Cengage terminated their planned merger this week, but it might be for the best. McGraw-Hill just released their financial results for the first three months of 2020 and sales were up 13% compared to the same period in 2019 with billings from digital products up more than 18%. The company generated $1.7 billion dollars total.
Notably, this successful quarter came, in part, due to the surge in demand for digital products brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, McGraw-Hill made a number of efforts to support educators, including offering its higher-ed digital materials for free and giving free support to K-12 educators throughout their transition to online learning. For professionals, McGraw-Hill offered free support and trials of its Access medical, engineering and science solutions to assist with distance learning and built a “COVID-19 Central” news site that provides information, developments and analysis on the virus from McGraw-Hill’s medical experts.
“March and April were incredibly stressful times for educators and school and college leaders around the world,” said Simon Allen, CEO of McGraw-Hill. “In the weeks that followed school and campus closures, we shifted our attention entirely to helping our customers transition online. With our learning science-backed digital solutions and deep relationships with educators, we’re in a unique position to help address their challenges and support successful student learning going into the summer, the fall and beyond.”
As the demand for online learning tools grows, McGraw-Hill has continued to invest in its digital platforms to remain a leader in the industry. So far in 2020, the company has announced cutting edge new writing assignment technology and a Virtual Labs product for its higher ed digital platform Connect, as well as a partnership with Proctorio to bring remote proctoring and browser locking capabilities to its courseware. Use of McGraw-Hill Connect and ALEKS have both continued to expand with 5.2 million unique student users of ALEKS across K-12 and higher ed and more than 4 million activations of Connect in higher education in fiscal 2020.
Going forward, the company will continue to focus on creating the world-class content it is known for, providing best-in-class digital platforms for learners and educators, and operating efficiently and effectively.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.