End of an Era: RIP Print (The case of Encyclopaedia Brittanica)
One of the most enduring and endearing representatives of print is Encyclopaedia Brittanica which after 244 years of print run shut its print run. EB will be available in digital and web formats now on. The product most associated with wisdom of the crowds i.e Wikipedia is credited with the death of the Print edition of EB. EB maintains that the death of Print edition is because the digital media encyclopaedia is taken over. Print encyclopedias account for less than 1% of Britannica’s revenue, while 85% of the revenue comes from educational products and 15 percent from the $70 subscription to its website, which about half a million households pay. Recently, the company recently launched a set of apps ranging between $1.99 and $4.99 per month. Thus the end of Print EB is more about the death of paper and print era at the hands of digital media.
Stating the death of the print media, Jorge Cauz, President of EB expects many trade publishers not to survive and content development company to be filling up the gap
Image courtesy: Statista
The print edition became more difficult to maintain and wasn’t the best physical element to deliver the quality of our database and the quality of our editorial
It’s a rite of passage in this new era. Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now. The Web site is continuously updated, it’s much more expansive and it has multimedia.
Furthermore, Cauz predicts that, “print may not completely vanish from the market, but I think it is going to be increasingly less important. Many publications will never have a print analog and will only be printed on digital formats.”