Pearson launches direct-to-consumer subscription service in bid for student sales

by Jeremy

Dive Brief:

  • Pearson announced Friday that it is launching a new service allowing students to access its library of online textbooks and other academic content through a monthly subscription.
  • The new service, called Pearson+, costs $14.99 a month for access to the platform’s complete library of over 1,500 titles and $9.99 a month for just one textbook. Students will need to sign up for a minimum of four months.
  • The company bills the service as a way to give students more flexible and budget-friendly textbook options.

Dive Insight:

Pearson’s move marks a shift toward consumer sales and aims to recapture students who would’ve bought their textbooks on secondary markets. With Pearson+, we are reimagining the learning experience for students and building direct relationships with them,” Pearson CEO Andy Bird said in a statement.  Students will access the platform, which is debuting in time for the 2021-22 academic year, through their computers or mobile devices.  Pearson isn’t the first company to take this route. Cengage, another publishing giant, announced a textbook subscription service in 2017.


Giving students access to its entire library and homework platform for $119.99 per semester.  The change also comes as educational publishers face mounting pressure from students and colleges to lower costs. According to the College Board, students budgeted between $1,240 and $1,460 on average for books and supplies in the 2020-21 academic year.

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