(EPS, Chief Research Fellow) is
one of my favorite commentators on the publishing industry because he is smart,
approachable, and very well informed.

Today he distributed an article as part of EPS Insights entitled: HARCOURT:

According to David, “There
are two things that everyone knows about education marketplaces. One is that
the whole world needs more skills and education, and spending must inexorably
rise. The other is that the long
anticipated digital revolution in the classroom has been the last element of
the networked society to get delivered”

“For Harcourt, losing some
key adoptions, and the increasing demand of state buyers for full management
systems for tests, complicated the picture in markets where Pearson, now the
undisputed market leader, grew education by 17.5%…”  

“… it may be that workflow
integration in schools is a part of the answer, but if so, this was not an area
where Harcourt could effectively take on Pearson.”

David went on to contemplate
what the educational landscape might look like in several years. 

Might there be only two
major players? (Pearson and McGraw-Hill?)

Might Houghton
Mifflin/Riverdeep “dig even deeper into lenders’ pockets to fund a further

Could “outsider buyers on
the technology side…see opportunities here”?

“…while these are markets
under stress at K-12 and HE, the up-tide is foreseeable, the rationalisations
are painful but could be accomplished…  

In five years the
education marketplace will look very different, but perhaps only private equity
can afford to wait.”


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