Encyclopedia Britannica has announced the stoppage of printing its iconic multi-volume book sets. Instead, it will focus solely on its digital encyclopedia and education tools. Being in India for just 12 Years, Britannica feels it has tremendous scope to grow. The physical set of books accounted for 5% of its global sales. But overall, the print media could not even garner 1% of its entire global revenue. Hence, the natural progression for the company.
Interestingly, the online version of the encyclopedia, represents 15% of Britannica’s revenue. The other 85% is from institutional sales of education products: online learning tools, curriculum products etc.
Everyone seems interested in online education nowadays. We have TV players, Telecom Companies even Video sharing sites. The Indian education market is set to cross US$ 70 Billion by this year alone. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The real success lies in getting education where it is difficult to reach i.e. the villages & remote rural locations. The only way to ensure children there get quality education is through digital evolution. Technologies such as Cloud Storage & Tablets are already touted to lead the new education revolution.
Britannica plans to make it big through the school market for which they already have a series of electronic knowledge and instructional services. For example, just last year they launched Indian version of our Britannica School Online service, which synchronizes itself with the curriculum in India. Furthermore, it also includes learning materials for teachers and students as well. The company tasted success with books in math, social studies, science and general knowledge three years ago & feels India can truly contribute to its growth.
To ensure its service reach far off places, Britannica has tied up with Airtel to give free access to all its volumes. Increasing exposure & web-traffic to its sites was the primary aim. With the likes of Britannica making serious inroads, we can be assured that Indian education is headed for a decent upgrade.
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