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The world's largest education publisher, Pearson, has said it will gradually phase out printed textbooks. It has taken a decision to make all of its learning resources "digital first". Pearson said the future of the industry is in e-books and digital services. Pearson CEO John Fallon explained more about the company's future direction. He told the BBC: "We are now over the digital tipping point. Over half our annual revenues come from digital sales, so we've decided, a little bit like in other industries like newspapers or music or in broadcast, that it is time to flick the switch in how we primarily make and create our products." He added: "I am increasingly confident and excited about this."



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Pearson said a huge advantage of digital books is that they can be continually updated, which means teachers will always have access to the latest versions of textbooks. Mr Fallon said Pearson would stop its current business model of revising printed course books every three years. He said this model has dominated the industry for over four decades and is now past its use-by date. Fallon said: "We learn by engaging and sharing with others, and a digital environment enables you to do that in a much more effective way." He added the digital books will appeal to the "Netflix and Spotify generation". Textbook writers are worried they will earn less from their books as digital products are sold on a subscription basis.

Sources:

  • https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48998789
  • https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pearson-textbooks/pearson-goes-digital-first-in-u-s-college-market-idUSKCN1UA2IU
  • https://www.ft.com/content/c1940696-a74d-11e9-984c-fac8325aaa04

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