The report categorizes the global e-textbook rental market by payment model (subscription services and pay-as-you-go model) and by end-user (academic segment and non-academic segment). The report also determines the geographic breakdown of the market in terms of detailed analysis and impact, which includes key geographies such as APAC, the Americas, and EMEA.
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Market driver: cost-effective pricing model
The cost-effective pricing model of the e-textbook rental concept is one of the key drivers of the market. Many students across the globe devote a significant portion of the money to buy books that are curriculum-specific to a certain term or semester. This has resulted in the increasing number of companies converting their conventional textbook curriculum into digital versions in the form of e-textbooks. Students are increasingly renting these e-textbooks instead of buying them online. Loaning e-textbooks or renting them often costs much lesser for students than buying.
According to Jhansi Mary, a lead analyst at Technavio for education technology research, “Accessing course materials through e-textbooks allows marking, note sharing, highlighting, and hyperlinking. Furthermore, effective payment models such as the subscription and the pay-as-you-go model of the global e-textbook rental market are other key drivers that are gaining popularity among learners. Students have been increasingly preferring to read books online.”
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Market trend: rising integration of software with digital textbooks
Several vendors are trying to make digital textbooks convenient and useful for learners by providing additional features in them. A few of the vendors provide software with traditional textbooks. However, e-textbooks allows students to highlight and take notes apart from allowing them to engage in social learning. The digital publisher, Inkling, announced and added a social aspect to e-textbooks that allow students to review and rate books. It also allows them to share information and notes with other peers in classrooms. A few other software are being integrated into digital e-textbooks to make them user-friendly and effective through videos, 3-D images, and built-in tests. Such initiatives by market vendors should boost the growth of the global e-textbook rental market during the forecast period.
Market challenge: increasing threat from open-source content
Owing to considerable advances in the technological domain and low barriers to market entry, several niche players and a few of the established vendors have started offering free open online instruction material and resources. This is because of the need to bring in a balance against the skyrocketing prices involved in buying books and other expenses in modern education system. These players offer information and e-textbooks at considerably low prices and at times the offerings are for free.
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Key vendors in the market
The global e-textbook rental market is highly competitive owing to the presence of various established publishers and emerging start-ups that offer innovative solutions to consumers willing to rent e-textbooks for a limited duration at a definite cost. The presence of many players competing for the leading position has led to the intense market rivalry. Vendors are innovating with their solutions to achieve better customer-friendliness and convenience.
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