Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ads Coming to Texbooks?

Ads Coming to Texbooks - New York Times:
Published: August 15, 2006

Textbook prices are soaring into the hundreds of dollars, but in some courses this fall, students won't pay a dime. The catch: Their textbooks will have ads for companies including FedEx Kinko's and Pura Vida coffee.

Selling ad space keeps newspapers, magazines, Web sites and television either cheap or free. But so far, the model hasn't spread to college textbooks -- partly for fear that faculty would consider ads undignified. The upshot is that textbooks now cost students, according to various studies, about $900 per year."
Textbooks are a model waiting to be broken. So... suppose the Open Source community has a way to monetize efforts that don't need the publishers?

This may not be the winning model, but textbook delivery is broken and outmoded. Sooner or later the system is going to change. This may the disruptive innovation that moves it to tip.