Delivering content in multiple formats – A common publishing challenge?

Rishi Raj Singh Gera July 8, 2019
How does MagicBox, a Digital publishing platform, solves one of the most complex issues that education publishers face? While free or freemium content, subscription-based sales, open authorship, and security all are growing needs in the education publishing market,  the challenge that most common among publishers is delivering content on multiple devices in multiple device formats. Throughout the 20th century, education publishers enjoyed the lion’s share of publishing revenue, driven for the most part by ongoing textbook revenue. Moreover, they had access to a stable, well-established physical format and set of aesthetics. The 21st century technological innovations and consequent demand for all things digital radically changed the status quo.  To meet the demand and reverse the decline in revenue and market share, each of the top education publishers, listed with their legacy revenue, has added one or more digital product lines to their print lines. Here are a few recent revenue statistics:
  • Pearson Education $7B 
  • Phoenix Publishing and Media Company $2.8B 
  • China South Publishing & Media Group $2.6B
  • Holtzbrinck Publishing Group $2B
  • McGraw Hill Education $2B ( McGraw Hill, whose digital unit sales exceeded its print sales for the first time in 2016, recently merged with Cengage and the company will keep the McGraw Hill name.) 
  • Cengage $1.7B 
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $1.4B 
  • Scholastic $1.8B 
As publishers grow the digital side of their business, the expanding number of devices and device formats they must accommodate steadily increases. Mobile devices are outpacing desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and iPads. An example that demonstrates mobile’s stronghold is that while 97% of Millennials are on the Internet, 28% solely use a smartphone to access it (Pew Research Report, 2018). Adding to the device challenge is the exponential growth of IoT devices and 5G. The graph that follows depicts Internet usage with a device perspective (Hootsuite, 2019). To deliver content on these devices, ed publishers generally offer the educational resources in the form of Lesson Plans, Worksheet, Presentations, Assessments and Interactive Assets. All these resources can be offered in the following content formats:
  • PDFs: This format is rather common but requires that publishers reduce file size.
  • Interactive PDFs:These allow publishers to incorporate sound and video, hyperlinks or navigation buttons.
  • PDFs converted to Flash: These have a short lifetime as Flash is waning in popularity.
  • ePub3: This format accommodates mobile devices, eBook readers, and desktops. It also allows for the addition of multimedia resources and limited tracking.
  • HTML5: This format is mobile-friendly with a standardized format that provides a wide variety of resources and interactivities and cross-platform compatibility.
  • XML: This format requires a dedicated player that dynamically creates HTML5 format based on the XML source file, which allows student data delivery. 
  • MOBI: This format is a proprietary Amazon’s Kindle eReader format.
  • iBooks: This format is a proprietary iBook format (IBA), generated with the iBooks Author tool.
  • MP4: This is a digital multimedia file format that is widely used to stream videos online. It uses advanced video and audio coding, compressing files while retaining high quality. 
  • MP3: This is a digital audio file format that compresses audio while maintaining high quality sound. It is often used to distribute music and podcasts. 
Let’s circle back to the original question. How can MagicBox help ed publishers solve one of its most complex challenges? The quick answer is MagicBox will eliminate the challenge altogether.  Working with ed publishers MagicBox will create customized solutions that enable content viewing on any device. Ed publishers have only to contact one of its offices to get the conversation started.

Rishi Raj Singh Gera

As the Consulting Head, Rishi Raj Singh Gera looks after business consulting across Content Engineering, Platform Engineering and Technical Solutions at Magic EdTech. An experienced leader with over 19 years of experience, Rishi has extensive experience with universal content, platform architecture design and delivery across Education, Financial services, Automotive and Health care industries.