Digital publishing has witnessed exponential growth over the last decade mainly due to the merger of education and the Internet – a merger that has opened up exciting new opportunities for people across the world to access new knowledge and gain new skills. According to a recent industry report on the future of digital publishing, Forecast to 2028 – COVID-19 Impact and Global Analysis, the global market for digital publishing is predicted to grow at a significant rate during the 2021–2028 forecast period. Further, the global digital publishing market was valued at US$ 14,383.9 million in 2020 and is expected to reach US$ 28,065.2 million by 2028, at a CAGR of 8.9%. The report segments the market into five distinct regions North America, Europe, APAC, MEA, and SAM, and finds that North America leads the global digital market followed closely by Europe and APAC.
Factors Driving the Growth of Digital Publishing
With the market looking up for digital publishing, driven by both the academic and corporate sectors, it would be interesting to understand what the future holds for this sector. Here, in this article, we look at factors that drive growth in digital publishing.
Democratization of Education
Digital publishing is in a way leading to what can be termed as the democratizing of education, with several renowned colleges and universities such as Stanford University and Harvard University offering online courses in subjects such as computer science, mathematics, engineering, art, business, and personal development. With these courses, students across the globe can access digital versions of the course content, textbooks, and course content which they can use to prepare for online tests and certifications. Then again, there is a rise in online learning systems such as Udemy, Coursera, Lynda, Skillshare, and Udacity that have made education accessible to students in remote or distant locations. This rising adoption of online education is fuelling the market for digital publishing.
Rising Demand for Digital Content
The growth in digital publishing can also be attributed to the increased demand for digital content for learning and development activities in the corporate sector. With large organizations having a widely dispersed workforce, online training is an ideal means to ensure the employees remain updated to the new knowledge and skills at all times. Further, the corporate sector globally is witnessing a change in work culture with more and more companies adopting the work-from-home approach. Thus, virtual training has greatly contributed to the growth of digital publishing.
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The COVID 19 pandemic has further accelerated the trend towards digital publishing. In the face of the pandemic, governments worldwide implemented several restrictive measures, such as the closure of schools and other educational institutions to contain the spread of the virus. This has led to an increased demand for online study and teaching materials such as eBooks, eText, and other digitally printed documents across schools and colleges.
The digital publishing sector is ripe for growth and the major industry players are taking various routes to gain a greater slice of the market pie including novel marketing initiatives, mergers and acquisitions, and new product development.
This is a strategy that most enterprises are adopting to extend their presence beyond their borders. In the context of digital publishing, the major players are focussing more on developing advanced and efficient products through partnerships, contracts, joint ventures, funding, and opening new offices across the world. Any such move helps them to expand their footprints and build a global brand. To explain this with an example, the Physiological Oncology Rehabilitation Institute (PORi), a Denver-based company in the US has partnered with Hurix Digital, in India, to use their proprietary software, KITABOO to deliver online courses to medical practitioners. This platform enables PORi to enrich the content with multimedia elements, adding to the interactivity factor and making the learning experience rich and engaging.
Download Now: An Industry Report on the Future of Digital Publishing
Merger and Acquisition
The larger digital publishing companies are increasingly taking the merger and acquisition route to collaborate with various companies to benefit from new business opportunities. This strategy helps them to strengthen footprints in existing markets and at the same time, maintain their brand image. To explain this with an example, the Ingram Content Group, an American service provider to the book publishing industry, has signed an agreement to sell VitalSource Technologies LLC to Francisco Partners, a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology businesses.
In this strategy, the digital publishing companies focus on product innovations by integrating advanced technologies and features into their products to retain a competitive edge in the market.
As a case point, Hurix Digital, a pioneer in the global digital publishing market with an impressive roster of clients across geographies, has introduced several new features in the KITABOO eBook platform. This authoring platform and the KITABOO SDK have transformed the way publishers adapt to digital publishing. In 2020, KITABOO seamlessly scaled up to meet a 40X surge in traffic due to COVID-19. Additionally, with the help of KITABOO AR, publishers can enhance physical books with digitally enriched content with the help of an immersive learning experience. This innovative learning platform also helps corporates and educational institutions to develop & deliver mobile-first interactive content.
Then again, VitalSource, a US-based leading authority in digital course materials, eTextbooks, and student savings, has received a maximum ASPIREscore of 100% for ensuring clear communication around its industry-leading implementation of accessibility standards and transparency.
Digital publishing has gained much ground over the last decade, driven by several factors, most notably, the merger of the Internet and education which benefits from the synergies of both. This merger has revolutionized the teaching and learning landscape. The instructors benefit from a wealth of online resources to supplement their teaching. The students, on the other hand, can personalize their learning, using these resources to build on their knowledge and skills.
Second, with the workforce becoming increasingly dispersed, online media has emerged as the platform of choice to deliver continuous learning, allowing employees to undertake the training at their convenience and at their own pace. This also holds good for the academic community. In fact, several reputed universities have now begun to offer online courses leveraging digital publishing assets such as eText, ebooks, and other electronic documents. In a way, digital publishing has democratized education enabling access to courses offered by these universities which till recently were open to only a privileged few.
Third, the COVID 19 pandemic forced both the education and the corporate sectors to adopt online learning and teaching, in face of the restrictions implemented by governments worldwide to limit the spread of the virus. This gave a major thrust to digital publishing. The future of digital publishing seems bright and ripe for exploitation. It is little wonder then major players, such as Hurix Digital, Vijua, VitalSource Technologies, Excelsoft Technologies, Lulu Press, Inc., and Kortext are upping the game with new product developments, partnerships, and merger and acquisition to expand footprints and maintain their brand.
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