Thread regarding Pearson PLC layoffs

Textbook Publishing Giant Pearson Will Soon be Publishing a Lot Fewer Textbooks


It said this week it's ending regular revisions of all print textbooks in its higher-education category. As Pearson faces mounting pressure from the resale market, the move signals a growing shift in the publishing industry to a "digital-first" model. From a report:

Instead of revising all 1,500 of its active titles every three years according to the print schedule, the British education publisher said it will focus on updating its digital products more frequently, offering artificial intelligence capabilities, data analytics and research.

Pearson is billing the decision as a way to help drive down college costs for students.

But the company and the education publishing industry as a whole have been criticized for years for the rising prices of textbooks.

That has pushed a majority of students into secondhand textbook markets like Chegg or spurred them to forego buying class materials altogether.

The average cost of college textbooks rose about four times faster than the rate of inflation over the last decade.

"Our digital first model lowers prices for students and, over time, increases our revenues," Fallon said in a statement. "By providing better value to students, they have less reason to turn to the secondary market. Pearson's e-books can cost about $40 on average and go up to $79 for additional learning tools like homework assistance. That compares to prices that can go as high as $200 or $300 for a print textbook, according to Pearson CEO John Fallon, though students can still rent one for $60 on average.

| 2172 views | | 4 replies (last )
Post ID: @OP+10559LWp

4 replies (most recent on top)

Can someone explain to me what exactly is this strategy. Digital First is nothing new, they are still printing selling and renting books. What has changed?

Is this just PR / Marketing, or am I missing something?

Post ID: @kpwz+10559LWp

There must be one consultant who is selling the same sh*t to all the big Ed Publishers because this "strategy" seems like a marketing spin on business as usual. Pearson has been offering different content delivery options at different price points for years. They are still printing books for purchase and rental, still selling standalone ebooks, and digital courseware ( MyLabMaster), BUT they haven't addresses the fundamental reasons that their business has been failing for years. Strategy is easy- execution is the hard part, and Pearson has failed so often in just about everything way possible.

Maybe Fallon is a genius and this will work, or maybe he's just a guy trying to hang onto his job for a few more years ( like most of us) .... I love his quote, .... " over time (the model), increases our revenues".... I wonder how much MORE time it's going to take to turn the ship around, and how long will the board and stockholders continue to support this guy and his leadership team.

Post ID: @8qxy+10559LWp

Certainly not a new strategy, every ed publisher has a version of this in one shape or form. I wonder what's changed at Pearson since I've been gone ( 5 years), that would make it possible for this type of strategy to succeed? Are the platforms more stable? Are there more support resources? Does the market even want or need all digital? MHE went down this road years ago, and eventually determined that while digital is great, what the market really wants is affordability. Cengage Unl is a digital first play, but probably still TBD if/how that model is sustainable.

Oh boy, this is going to be fun to watch

Post ID: @7qtl+10559LWp

LOL...just how far behind the technology curve is John Fallon? This article does a great job of quantifying that for us.

How does this guy still have a job?

Post ID: @2xyl+10559LWp

Post a reply