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Reacting to Shifts in the Educational Publishing Market

Areas of opportunity for educational publishers and near-term tactics for adapting to new market realities


Education is a dynamic global market with strong underlying growth characteristics, yet traditional educational “content” providers will continue to face many challenges, specifically around harnessing this growth.

Consumer demands, enabled by technology, are rapidly changing. But while related massive shifts in classrooms have also been predicted from these changes, until recently, very little had actually been changing. Some would say that, even today, perhaps less than 2 percent of all education spend in the K-12 space is “digital”.

The slow pace of change may have been due to infrequent adoptions of new curriculum at the K-12 state level, or the treasured professor-author-publisher relationship, or the standing “armies” of sales folks at the traditional publishers geared to sell books to the school districts, institutions and other decision-makers.

The sands now seem to be shifting under the educational publishing giants, and real digital competition is stagnating growth. The shifts are being driven from changes in demand, declining U.S. margins, and rapid growth in developing economies.

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