Pearson is the largest publisher involved in textbooks for colleges and universities. The company has announced they are abandoning print and are only going to focus on digital. This is being done because most of their digital textbooks are delivered on a subscription basis and the content can also be updated responsively and incorporate videos and assessments that provide students with feedback.
The move is being billed by Pearson as an attempt to reduce costs and improve the student experience, with the company projecting average prices of $40 per e-textbook and $79 for “a full suite of digital learning tools.” The company added that students who still desire access to a print textbook can rent them from Pearson for $60 on average. Sixty-two percent of Pearson’s higher education revenue now comes from digital or digitally-enabled products and services, the company said.
“Students are demanding easier access and more affordable higher education materials, with nearly 90% of learners using some kind of digital education tool,” Pearson CEO John Fallon said in a statement. “We’ve changed our business model to deliver affordable, convenient, and personalized digital materials to students. Our digital first model lowers prices for students and, over time, increases our revenues. By providing better value to students, they have less reason to turn to the secondary market. This will create a more predictable, visible revenue stream with a better quality of earnings that enables us to serve the needs of learners and customers more effectively. Our digital courseware makes learning more active, engaging and immersive, improving outcomes for students and their teachers, and helping college leaders meet the growing demand for lifelong learning.”
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.