By Edward Nawotka
Should Ad-Supported Textbooks Become Standard?
- No, the practice is abhorrent and publishers should balk at the very idea (43%, 18 Votes)
- Yes, it makes sense as a way to keep down the price of books (31%, 13 Votes)
- Yes/No: Publishers will offer a mixture of ad-supported, freemium and other models (17%, 7 Votes)
- Yes, but only in “practical” fields where students are recruited, such as business, science and engineering (5%, 2 Votes)
- Yes, but only for secondary and ancillary materials, such as study-aids (4%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 42
Every year college students complain about the high cost of textbooks. They feel its an insult to have to spend several hundred, if not thousands of dollars, on textbooks after already writing a check for ten or twenty thousand dollars for their education (this is in the United States, of course, where the cost of year at a private university can run you $50,000, including room and board).
Increasingly, students are looking for alternatives to paying for books, whether it’s renting them or even downloading them for free from companies such as Flat World Knowledge. One solution may be to place ads inside textbooks. Bookboon, the Danish e-publisher discussed in today’s feature story, has attracted a variety of advertisers for brands that want to reach out to students, either as consumers or potential future employees. He believes the practice is valid, because as he sees it, students ”are getting high quality textbooks for free because we are getting their future employers to pay for it.”
And, after all, if college stadiums, classrooms, cafeterias and all other manner of amenities are branded and/or plastered with ads by corporations, what’s the objection to allowing advertising into textbooks?
So, as tuition prices continue to skyrocket, and publishers seek alternatives to offer students relief, should the ad-supported textbooks become standard?
Take our survey above and let us know what you think of the practice in the comments.