Pearson Launches Pearson+, the Wannabe Netflix for Textbooks

Image for article titled There’s Another ‘+’ on the Market: Pearson+, the Wannabe Netflix for College Textbooks

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As if there weren’t sufficient providers with a “+” of their identify, right here’s one other for your listing: Pearson+, the wannabe Netflix for school textbooks.

Pearson lately unveiled Pearson+, a desktop and cell app that can supply digital textbooks from the firm’s catalogue by way of a two-tiered subscription mannequin. The $9.99 per thirty days single tier provides college students entry to 1 Pearson textbook, whereas the $14.99 multi-tier gives entry to greater than 1,500 textbooks. In a information launch, the firm mentioned Pearson+ would supply college students the “most flexible and budget friendly” technique to entry digital textbooks and research instruments. The app will likely be launched on U.S. campuses in the fall.

When you examine that supply to the costs for print textbooks on Pearson’s web site at the second—which embody a laboratory manual at $63.99 and an engineering textbook at $181.32, amongst a variety of different costs—that does sound like a cut price.

“Students are clear that they prefer the convenience and affordability of digital learning tools like Pearson+,” Pearson CEO Andy Bird mentioned in the launch. “With Pearson+ we are reimagining the learning experience for students and building direct relationships with them, which will allow us to continue to enhance the product with features they need and want.”

Bird added that the firm desires college students to spend much less time anxious about shopping for their books and extra time having fun with their school expertise. In addition to digital textbooks, Pearson+ subscribers will even obtain a bundle of research instruments, together with audio variations of books, enhanced search options, pre-made and customizable flashcards, and the capacity to vary the fonts and backgrounds of books, amongst others.

Now, whereas that each one sounds dandy, let’s bear in mind the key message right here: Pearson+ permits single or limitless entry to Pearson’s catalogue of books. That could also be very good, however as the Financial Times factors out, many college students are assigned textbooks from quite a lot of publishers.

It might additionally create one other drawback: pressuring professors to decide on textbooks that may not be the greatest ones for the class.

“Maybe the access agreement, or pressure from students with subscriptions, means faculty are compelled to go for a textbook which isn’t necessarily the best for the course,” Eddie Watson, affiliate vice president for curricular and pedagogical innovation at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, informed the Times. “The risk is it precludes other options that might be more open and more affordable.”

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