Simon & Schuster recently announced it will begin offering libraries a discount on a set of 550 ebook titles if the library licenses them for a two-year term instead of S&S’s standard one-year term. The news is welcome as the latest stab at making pricing more compatible with library budgets. This is a pilot program and as such may be expanded or curtailed in the future, but experiments that offer better pricing are certainly appreciated.
An updated version of the Big Five Publishers and Library Lending matrix (PDF) is now available.
Readers of this blog might want to comment on some questions that come to my mind as I think through the implications of this new approach:
- How does a library decide whether the one-year or two-year option is right?
- Why wouldn’t the publisher just offer a 50% discount if the library opts for a second year after a one-year license?
- What happens after year two? Does the cycle start over? Could a further discount be offered?
- And since this is a hybrid model, how about a perpetual license option for libraries that want to make the title a part of their permanent collection? At what price point?
Surely there are more questions and responses out there. Let us hear from you.
Updated December 4, 2015, to add revised Big Five Publishers and Library Lending matrix.