Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Pearson shifts to digital-first model

UK-based educational publisher Pearson will shift to a digital-first model, reports Publishers Weekly.

The publisher has announced that it will only update the digital editions of its 1500 American university textbooks. According to the BBC, the publisher will stop its practice of revising print textbooks every three years; in 2020 it will only update 100 print textbooks, down from 500 in 2019. Those who want access to print textbooks will be able to rent them from Pearson for an average of US$60 (A$85) each.

Pearson is projecting that customers will pay US$40 (A$57) per ebook and US$79 (A$112) for ‘a full suite of digital learning tools’.

The company said 62% of its higher education revenue now comes from digital or digital products, adding that intention behind the shift to digital first was to have its textbook publishing program ‘be much more like apps, professional software, or the gaming industry’.

Pearson CEO John Fallon said: ‘Students are demanding easier access and more affordable higher education materials, with nearly 90% of learners using some kind of digital education tool …  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.’


Category: International news