Every semester students are purchasing over $579 dollars in textbooks and some are finding this an expensive proposition. Due to rising tuition fees and the high cost of student housing, many students are buying their textbooks used or pirating them. Cengage is one of the largest textbook publishers in the world and they are going to ease student suffering by launching an unlimited service in 2018. They will offer 20,000 digital textbooks across 70 disciplines at a cost of $119.99 a semester, or $179.99 for 12 months, offering potentially sizeable savings over buying or renting individual products.
C.e.o. Michael Hansen said Cengage Unlimited would offer an alternative to the “traditional and costly approach of paying for each course materials individually,” arguing: “High costs are limiting too many students from being able to access and succeed in their learning. We are taking unprecedented action to break down the cost barriers and end the cycle of students having to choose between course materials they can afford and the results they want.”
Cengage plans to shift 90% of its US higher education sales volumes from print to digital formats by 2020. The publisher posted a 10% drop in revenue in its most recent fiscal year, dragged down by weak higher education print sales. The hope is that subscription volumes will offset the price gap between print and digital.