Change is inevitable in this digital era. While eTextbooks, digital coursewares, and online education are widely accepted and more credible now in the academic market, it's time to move forward. Changes in consumption patterns redefine the roles of education content providers, beyond selling e-Books and course material.
The cost of Higher Education in the United States has risen astonishingly. The price of textbooks, education courseware, and content has been a significant contributor to this.Economist stated that the nominal price of textbooks in the United States has gone up to fifteen folds since 1970!
The impact of this swelling cost is prominent; Accenture findings indicated that students opt for less expensive alternatives like online universities than the traditional ones. Digital capabilities, classroom technology, virtual courseware and online classes are crucial factors for university selection.
Majority of the students prefer using digital tools for learning and content accessibility. Quite obviously, second-hand education material, open content initiatives and easy to find online inexpensive foreign editions (cheaper sometimes by over 90%) have emerged as strong alternatives. Don’t be surprised if you discover more of them in future.
Exorbitant educational content is the core issue. Publishers and content providers have the opportunity to play a larger role and expand their offerings— moving towards creating a new delivery mechanism, beyond selling eBooks and shipping hard copies.
Content delivery on multiple time bound subscriptions can potentially change the landscape and open up new opportunities. Unit subscription, or providing chapters and sections could be a next step forward, especially for expensive content.
However attaining a sustainable business model in the new market dynamics could be challenging. If publishers can devise a reasonable price for a new delivery approach, they can achieve predictable results and sustainable business results. As compared to the traditional model, it might appear like a lower revenue opportunity in the short run, but in the long run, the overall revenue would be enormous if your market strategy is aligned with consumer expectations and market demand.
Moreover, print fulfillment and eBook sale will always support your subscription business model. So, all you need to do is, calculate how to get the best out of your subscription model! Subscription would facilitate deeper market penetration resulting in economical price and of course, greater reach.
Content will reach the populace who could not afford it earlier or the ones who postponed buying or switched to other alternatives. Mass market penetration and greater customer engagement would be easily attainable! Publishers dealing directly with education institutions can deliver content with analytics and performance measurement features, an aid for personalized and face-to-face learning. Blended learning is another significant trend, publishers must not miss.
Developing capabilities from scratch is undoubtedly an uphill task. Time to develop, run and upgrade are the key considerations that just can’t be ignored. Utilize existing modules instead of reinventing the wheel - An efficient CMS. With a myriad of credentials and modules, Drupal has emerged as the preferred CMS for publishers. Right from editorial, content management to eCommerce and subscription for online content, Drupal is the best alternative for publishers, content providers institutions and an excellent way to move forward.
Future ready, upgrades and enhancements could be up and running in days, not in weeks or months. The only cost needed to be taken care of is to make it enterprise ready along with features.