Pearson Library Price Review Announcement

Pearson Library Price Review Announcement

Below is the official statement released from Pearson on the subject of price increase and additional license models:

Over the last 3 years there have been significant changes in the library ebook market, many of which have been accelerated by Covid. The sudden onset of the Covid lockdown in Spring 2020 created an immediate need to provide students with remote access to digital learning materials; a function often previously fulfilled through library provision of printed books.

Historically library provision of learning materials has focused on research and monograph publications, with many students purchasing their own core textbooks and libraries holding multiple copies of only the most heavily used texts. However, feedback from the market over the last 2 years indicates that many University libraries are now purchasing limited quantities of ebook user licenses to fulfil entire course adoption requirements.

In the Higher Education market Pearson predominantly publishes core undergraduate textbooks, as well as related study skills and work readiness titles. Our core textbook publishing focuses on enabling students to develop a sound knowledge of the key principles of their designated area of study. They require significant investment by Pearson, often developed with teams of authors and illustrators, and regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that they contain the latest information and relevant case studies which students can relate to. These titles act as building blocks of core knowledge for many 1st and 2nd year students, without which they cannot progress to more advanced studies. As such our texts are used extensively within large introductory courses, with our main subject focus being Business and Economics, Psychology, Law and STEM courses.

Pearson’s library pricing and access models for ebooks have traditionally been built around the historical supply situation. Over the last 18 months Pearson has completed an extensive review of these models in order to develop appropriate go-to-market strategies for the future. As of December, we will be launching revised library pricing and access models to align with the new realities of the ebook market.

As part of these changes, we are introducing more flexible rental and concurrency models as well as an appropriate pricing differential between individual and library access. The key elements are:

  • Pearson will continue to make all our Higher Education and Professional titles available via both specialist library suppliers and ebook aggregators.

  • Pearson will continue to make our titles available through individual purchase models, for both libraries and individual students. Libraries can purchase access to the resources they need on a title-by-title basis.

  • Pricing for Single Concurrent User Perpetual Access via libraries will be revised to bring Pearson closer to industry standard eBook pricing levels. As of December, our single concurrent user licenses will be repriced to reflect the broader usage available via library access models. As an example a perpetual single concurrent user licence for a £50 print book will be priced at £225.

  • In addition to our existing Single Concurrent User model, we are introducing 3 and 5 Concurrent User Access, where supported by library suppliers. 3CU will be priced at a multiple of 2.75 times the single concurrent user price, and 5CU at a multiple of 4.5: these will enable libraries to provide access to multiple users from a single license.

  • We are maintaining our perpetual access model and introducing a new 1-year rental model. 1-year rental will be priced at 1/3rd of perpetual access for all concurrency levels.

  • We will continue to offer Full Enrolment Access models via ebook aggregators at bulk prices negotiated with individual institutions. We believe these deliver strong teaching and learning outcomes for students and course leaders, as well as providing detailed data analytics that help Universities understand and support student learning.

  • In addition, we will continue to offer redemption-based sales models for individual student access. These individual purchases will continue to be offered at our retail digital list price.

  • We will also continue to make our titles available for individual student purchase on both a perpetual and annual subscription basis.

We believe that these changes will enable libraries, institutions, and individuals to purchase access to our content through a range of flexible models, which allow them to tailor eBook provision to their own particular circumstances. This aligns us with industry-standard pricing levels for eBooks, creates an appropriate balance between different supply options and creates a sustainable model to reward authors appropriately for their work and expertise. We will be working closely with our library supply and eBook aggregator partners to implement these changes and continue to monitor the evolving market for delivering digital learning materials to Universities.