In Digital Transition, Electronic Media Soars as Textbooks Lose Footing in PreK-12 Market, According to Latest Report by Simba Information

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The PreK-12 publishing market is in the midst of a transition as schools invest more in a digital future and instructional software providers embrace new opportunities with the rising appeal in digital courseware. The PreK-12 market shows signs of strong growth for digital courseware, which generated sales of $1.2 billion, and captured market share of 17.1% in 2012, according to a recently published report by research firm Simba Information.

Technology alternatives, viewed as an effective and cost-saving option, threaten the position of textbooks in the school market.

The PreK-12 publishing market is in the midst of a transition as schools invest more in a digital future and instructional software providers embrace new opportunities with the rising appeal in digital courseware. The PreK-12 market shows signs of strong growth for digital courseware, which generated sales of $1.2 billion, and captured market share of 17.1% in 2012, according to a recently published report by research firm Simba Information.

Digital courseware shows the strongest growth among instructional materials, reflecting the rising role technology is playing in the instructional process. Based on Simba’s new report, “Publishing for the PreK-12 Market 2013-2014,” courseware was the second-largest segment in instructional materials in 2012 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.2% between 2012 and 2016.

“Historically, schools have used courseware much as they did supplemental materials—to bolster the textbook. Courseware programs have been used for remediation, enhancement and grade recovery,” said Kathy Mickey, Simba’s managing editor and an author of the report. “With more emphasis on blended learning and growing acceptance of a larger role for virtual learning, courseware is poised for continued strong growth.”

While electronic media steadily gains more ground in the school instructional materials market, traditional print textbooks struggle for a foothold. Technology alternatives, viewed as an effective and cost-saving option, threaten the position of textbooks in the school market.

Even though textbooks remain the largest single category of instructional materials, textbook sales continue to slide. Repeating a pattern of recent years, textbook sales declined roughly 17% in 2012, the largest single decline in at least a decade, according to Simba estimates.

Despite the erosion of print, digital solutions will drive growth in the PreK-12 market in the coming years with the top industry players, Pearson, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt and McGraw-Hill Education, reorganizing their business models to meet the demand.

“At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, investment is moving from traditional print supplements to more hybrid and digital models. McGraw-Hill Education is undertaking a complete overhaul of its business with a focus on digital development of tools to help students succeed,” Mickey said.
“Pearson, an early convert to and leader of the digital migration, is pivoting further toward digital, putting the emphasis on offering more content as a service. The pivot is companywide; for PreK-12 education in the U.S., Pearson is bringing out new curriculum programs and providing instructional improvement systems.”

For more information on Simba’s new report, which provides a segmented overview of the entire PreK-12 publishing industry and sales estimates through 2016, visit http://www.simbainformation.com/Publishing-PreK-7372356/ or call 888-29-SIMBA.

About Simba Information
Simba Information is widely recognized as the leading authority for market intelligence in the media and publishing industry. Simba's extensive information network delivers top quality, independent perspective on the people, events and alliances shaping the media and information industry. Simba publishes newsletters and research reports that provide key decision-makers at more than 15,000 client companies around the globe with timely news, analysis, exclusive statistics and proprietary industry forecasts. For more information, please visit http://www.simbainformation.com .

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Kathy Mickey
Simba Information
203-325-8193 x4002
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