Survey Results: Educational Publishers Must Prepare for Multi-channel Future
New Survey from Data Conversion Laboratory and Association of Educational Publishers reveals necessity of having a content conversion strategy
Fresh Meadows, NY: Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), the leader in converting content to new formats, and the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP), which encourages and advocates for professional, quality content for teaching and learning, today announced the results of The Changing Face of Back to School Survey for the K-12 education market. The respondents were loud and clear: 77 percent think publishers will go out of business if they do not move to multi-channel publishing. And the same percentage think that day is not far off, predicting that within five years printed materials will become less important to their business than digital content.
"While our survey shows that more than 60 percent of respondents expect to deliver custom digital content within two years, they are concerned about their ability to do so in a way that meets the same high standards as their print publishing."
"There is a sense of urgency within the K-12 educational publishing market regarding the need to handle digital conversion accurately and efficiently, and do it soon," said Mark Gross, President and CEO, DCL. "While our survey shows that more than 60 percent of respondents expect to deliver custom digital content within two years, they are concerned about their ability to do so in a way that meets the same high standards as their print publishing."
According to the survey, the top concern is accuracy, with approximately 75 percent not completely confident their converted content is free of errors. Moreover, respondents have concerns about the bandwidth of internal resources, with 60 percent most worried about time and deadlines. Insufficient staffing is also cited by 54 percent of respondents.
Added Mark Gross: "Taken together, these issues reflect the need for publishers to put in place a strong, overarching content conversion strategy, rather than trying to address this urgent need internally on a project-by-project basis."
The survey responses reflect the changes taking place in the types of materials provided by educational content providers: approximately 90 percent see demand increasing for online curriculum products and eBooks, followed by approximately 70 percent seeing rising demand for online learning games and multimedia/video. To meet these demands, publishers must be prepared to convert their materials into digital formats that include HTML, XML, and for eBooks, EPUB/MOBI.
Educational publishers face a balancing act: while 82 percent of respondents do foresee a day when students will only need to carry a digital device for most of their curriculum, that day has not yet come. This survey reflects one of the biggest challenges facing the learning resource industry: how to best create blended materials, or digital materials that can be integrated with print.