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Monday, May 19, 2008

CourseSmart partners with Ingram Digital Ventures

Just a quick note today --

In a non-surprising, but notable news release last week, CourseSmart announced Ingram Digital Ventures (IDV) will provide the platform for delivering their e-textbook collection. For anyone not familiar with educational publishing these days, CourseSmart is a company founded by six of the largest higher education textbook publishers (now five, since Cengage bought Hougton Mifflin). IDV is a division within Ingram, and provides a range of services -- VitalSource and Lightning Source being among perhaps the more common IDV companies familiar to college stores.

The partnership adds to the scalability of the e-textbook solution CourseSmart will be able to provide to the market. One interesting aspect of this arrangement is that IDV will "provide a customized e-book reader application to enrich CourseSmart eTextbooks with interactive functionalities." Given that another IDV company, VitalSource, is in the same business, it is a curious, or at least interesting, development. It will be interesting to see how similar or different the two e-reader environments are at the end of the day. The end result should provide benefit to consumers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I downloaded two books, one from vitalsource & one from coursesmart, and they are almost identical in features. I am finding it difficult to understand the differences that would warrent a second venture. Coursesmart is very clear about how to use the materials, however, vitalsource is like a maze to figure out much of anything other than how to purchase a book. I would really like to understand the difference between the two & then how to coordinate the sales with our campus bookstore. I did see a company called jumpbooks that appears to be a platform for sales from a bookstore. Thoughts?