Reselling textbooks is a common practice for students. Pearson now wants to secure a share of these resales.
Pearson, one of the largest textbook publishers, is currently looking at ways to generate increased revenue from textbooks resold online. To take advantage of second-hand sales, the publisher plans to convert its titles into non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
By using the blockchain-based NFT platform to distribute his textbooks, Pearson hopes to reduce second-hand sales. Because if more of his books are published online, this will open up an opportunity for the publisher to make money also from the second hand market.
Textbooks are often resold when students give resources they no longer need to others, with students buying used books to save money. It is estimated that American students spend between $628 and $1,471 annually on books and supplies, while textbook prices increase by an average of 12 percent with each new issue.
New business idea leads to expanded sales channels
Andy Pearson, CEO of Pearson, told Bloomberg that the publisher views blockchain and NFTs as an effective way to secure a portion of the company’s revenue from online sales of used textbooks:
“In the analog world, the book has been resold up to 7 times. But we only have something from the first sale. The transition to digitization helps reduce the secondary market. Technologies such as blockchain and NFTs allow us to constantly participate in every sale of that particular item. I find The opportunity to participate in downstream sales is very interesting.”
As a concrete example, the publisher called its print edition “Essentials of Nursing”. That beats the new counter for £57.99 ($70.88). It can later be resold to other students multiple times without the London-based publishing group sharing any of the proceeds. As more and more textbooks are already available in digital form, CEO Andy Bird wants to expand legacy distribution channels and thus secure a piece of the pie for the publisher.
NFT, or non-fungible token, is a digital file that verifies identity and ownership using blockchain technology. Until now, NFTs have been used primarily for images and graphics. However, as the publisher is currently studying, the technology also has other potential applications.
Pearson explores options using blockchain technology
Bird mentioned that the company is looking at ways to resell textbooks in digital form. It will be possible to resale online via NFT. As a result, the textbook will have a unique identifier and therefore will be protected from duplication at the same time. This can be tracked as it changes from owner to owner. A representative for Pearson told Business Insider that the plan is still a long way off:
“At this time, Pearson has no specific plans regarding this technology. However, we are certainly interested in how it can improve learning for students and add value to other stakeholders as well. Technologies like blockchain can create transparency for everyone And the It would pay off for both writers and students. We have an entire team working on the implications of the metaverse and what that might mean for us.”
A Pearson spokesperson also noted that the company had previously offered digital textbooks at lower prices than the print versions. The publisher will continue this practice in the future in order to make his books available to the widest possible customer base. Reuters was specifically informed that the publisher’s e-textbooks are already available at a price of $40. In comparison, the average cost of a textbook is around $110.
“NFTs will be no different because they will allow us to provide better quality content than printed books at a lower price.”
the voice of criticism
freethoughtblogs.com has this under the heading “I think I’ll have to find a new genetics textbook” to read:
“No. No no no. Textbook publishers are already outpacing students – the latest edition of the expensive ‘Genetics Concepts’ $197.00 – And this is not enough for them, they want to get coins for every resale. It hurts students too, because if nothing else, they can recoup some of the cost through resale (at a huge discount, btw), and now Pearson wants to snatch some of that resale value away from them.
I think I can find some texts online that will do the work for students for free. When the library issues its annual call for textbooks, I wonder what they’d think if I told them not to order? This will hurt their business a little.
Do you know who else gets hurt by Pearson’s greed? William Kluge, Michael Cummings, Charlotte Spencer, Michael Palladino, and Daryl Killian, the scholars who are the authors of the textbook. It’s already a low-paid job writing textbooks and they’ve done a good job, but now Pearson’s selfish selfishness is going to cost them royalties.”