Video Interview: Britannica’s Michael Ross on Mobile Apps and Apple

In What's the Buzz by Thomas Minkus

By Thomas Minkus

Michael Ross, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Education at Encyclopaedia Britannica believes that mobile is one of the most important distribution channels for publishers of educational material. He spoke with Publishing Perspectives at the AEP’s Content in Context Conference in Washington DC this week.

Ross said that “the education market is demanding mobile access. Teachers, educators, they understand that the kids are using mobile apps all the time.” Ross stressed that even if publishers leap into mobile apps with a business model that isn’t 100% right, they are making the right decision.

Of course, Apple is the major player in the mobile market, said Ross. “Apple has a huge mindshare in the education space as well as the consumer space, and this is a worldwide phenomenon.” Ross also spoke about what he calls the “silent revolution” in which Apple has begun selling apps by volume to schools, or “classroom sets of apps.” Ross said this change generated a sales spike in Britannica apps because it means sales are not just trickling in one at a time.

Ross’s number one piece of advice for publishers entering the mobile market? Build a good relationship with Apple.

About the Author

Thomas Minkus

Thomas Minkus is VP of Emerging Media & English Language Markets for the Frankfurt Book Fair. Based in the Book Fair’s New York City office, he spearheads the company’s activities in the fields of digital and mobile publishing, as well as new rights initiatives. In addition, he is responsible for Fair’s exhibitors and customers in all English-languages markets and those from the STM and education sectors. Thomas is also one of the co-founders of Publishing Perspectives. An online publishing newsletter, Publishing Perspectives delivers daily international news and opinion about the industry from top members of the global publishing community. Prior to joining the Fair in 2003, he worked as VP of Sales & Marketing for Learn Technologies, an educational publishing and technology company in New York City.