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Tablets are generating interest in e-texts, but price continues as driver

Tablets are generating interest in e-texts, but price continues as driver

New York, NY - May 22, 2012 - Integrated Learning Systems are edging out both print and e-textbooks in popularity with students, says new research from the Book Industry Study Group (BISG)’s ongoing study of Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education. The second installment in Volume Two of the study, which is powered by Bowker® Market Research, shows that nearly 48 percent of students feel Integrated Learning Systems help with their studying; compare that with 45 percent for the core physical textbook and just 37 percent for the e-textbook. Further, nearly half of student respondents feel that Integrated Learning Systems help them improve their grade, compared with 40 percent for print texts and 33 percent for e-texts.

“Our research shows that students are looking for greater value from their textbook-purchasing dollar,” said Angela Bole, Deputy Executive Director of BISG. “How they define ‘value’ is rapidly evolving as they’re exposed to new services.”

The study shows textbook rentals rising in the past year (now at 11 percent versus last year’s eight percent), with a corresponding drop in new textbook sales (now at 55 percent versus 59 percent last year.) Students are increasingly purchasing textbooks online, notably through Amazon.com, with a marked decline in purchasing through on-campus college bookstores. Textbook acquisition from Amazon.com rose from 25 percent to 31 percent while acquisition from on-campus college stores fell from 52 percent to 46 percent.

“There are two significant factors in flux in this market,” said Kelly Gallagher, Vice-President of Bowker Market Research. “In addition to changes in the retail model, there are continuing changes in the devices students can use to access their text.” Although relatively few students have tablet devices — just 16 percent compared with 76 percent who own laptops — many are planning to acquire them, and are looking for course content available on tablet devices. Interest in e-textbooks for the iPad is significant, with 19 percent “very interested” and 28 percent “somewhat interested.” An important note: interest is dependent upon e-textbook price points at least 25 percent below the cost of a used print version.

The findings from Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education come from a semi-annual online survey of college students, drawn from a nationally representative panel. To ensure the survey questions explore the appropriate trends and issues, they are developed in partnership with a variety of publishers and other companies working in the higher ed market place. In addition to the core question set, survey sponsors and other interested parties can submit proprietary questions to supplement the core fieldings. Those interested in submitting proprietary questions should contact Nadine Vassallo in the BISG office at 646-336-7141 or nadine@bisg.org.

The survey findings are available for sale both as a PDF summary report and as a complete data compendium, accessible online. A substantial discount is available for BISG members. The second installment in Volume Two of Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education is available as of DATE. For more information, or to order a copy, visit http://www.bisg.org/publications/product.php?p=22&c=437.

About Book Industry Study Group, Inc.
The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) is the U.S. book industry's leading trade association for policy, standards and research. The mission of BISG is to create a more informed, empowered and efficient book industry supply chain. Membership consists of publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians, and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media. For over 30 years, BISG has provided a forum for all industry professionals to come together and efficiently address issues and concerns to advance the book community. Learn more about BISG at www.bisg.org.

About Bowker
Bowker is the world's leading provider of bibliographic information and management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries better serve their customers. Creators of products and services that make books easier for people to discover, evaluate, order, and experience, the company also generates research and resources for publishers, helping them understand and meet the interests of readers worldwide. Bowker, an affiliated business of ProQuest and the official ISBN Agency for the United States and its territories, is headquartered in New Providence, New Jersey with additional operations in England and Australia.

22 May 2012


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