People, Politics & Business

Scoundrels, Educrats, Rogues and Champions

Apple and Education Publishing: The Disruptor

CJ Westerberg, January 20, 2012 9:12 AM


". . . we'd like you to come along for the ride.  But if you choose not to, we won't hesitate to leave you behind . . ."

-John Gruber, Daring Fireball,
referring to his "guess" about Apple's strategy for the education textbook marketplace 

by C.J. Westerberg

Tim Carmody over at Wired with a definitive piece on the the big secret about education:  education publishing is a huge business, folks, and one that doesn't get the headlines.  In fact, it's bigger than the trade book publishers that we typically associate with the book market and whose names roll off our tongue with ease.  How many outside of education are familiar with Pearson?  Check out table in the same article via Publisher's Weekly.  It's an eye-opener.

Did we know? 
Education publishing is bigger
than AOL and The New York Times,
and more profitable

With Apple entering the market as highlighted by yesterday's announcement, the transformation of the textbook and publishing market in education has begun.  Carmody connects the dots.  Excerpt:

education poster.jpg"On Wednesday, Daring Fireball's John Gruber wondered whether Apple wouldn't go it alone with textbooks and dare the big publishers to follow - similar to how it built up the iPod as the top music player and only then partnered up with labels to sell their catalogs through iTunes.

'I can see how the music labels resent Apple's rise to dominance, but I can't see how Apple does,' writes Gruber. After all, in Walter Isaacson's biography, Jobs mentions giving textbooks away for free as a way to route around approval by state and local education committees.

'I'm guessing Apple's pitch to the textbook companies is something like this,' says Gruber:

Digital transformation of your industry is inevitable. Here's our plan; we'd like you to come along for the ride. But if you choose not to, we won't hesitate to leave you
. . . "

Both links are must-reads.  Let the games begin.


education poster image: eclecticpundit

Related posts The Daily Riff:
Japanese Math Textbooks:  Less is More
John Sculley on Genius - "Steve's (Jobs) genius was seeing what would become obvious to the rest of us twenty years late."

Steve Jobs:  Why Don't Schools Get Rid of the Crappy Stuff?

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