May 17, 2022

Textbooks: “All Future Releases of Pearson’s 1500 Active U.S. Titles Will Be “Digital First” and Updated on an Ongoing Basis”

From a Pearson Announcement:

Pearson [announced] today it is breaking from the traditional education publishing model of lengthy and expensive print revisions, which has defined U.S. college publishing since the 1970’s.

Instead, all future releases of Pearson’s 1500 active U.S. titles will be “digital first” and updated on an ongoing basis driven by developments in the field of study, new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, and Pearson’s own efficacy research. Pearson is the only education publishing company setting out to do this across all of its active titles. It’s a product as a service model and a generational business shift to be much more like apps, professional software or the gaming industry.


With the switch to digital, students can expect to pay less, with an average price of $40 for an eBook and $79 for a full suite of digital learning tools. Students who still want a print textbook will be able to rent one from Pearson for an average price of $60.

Read the Complete Announcement

Media Coverage

Education Publisher Pearson to Phase Out Print Textbooks (via BBC)

“There will still be [print] textbooks in use for many years to come but I think they will become a progressively smaller part of the learning experience,” Mr Fallon [CEO, Pearson] said.

“We learn by engaging and sharing with others, and a digital environment enables you to do that in a much more effective way.”


He added: “For the Netflix and Spotify generation, they expect to rent not own.”

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Pearson Shifts to Netflix-Style Subscription Model for Textbooks (via The Guardian)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.