Encyclopedia Britannica Stops Printed Versions!

Back in 1995, I saw a movie based on the Baseball. As I live in India, I had no exposure to the game and wanted to look up information on it. Luckily the my school library had a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica, which I used as reference to learn about some basic rules of the game. Today, the same thing would probably take only a few seconds on my phone, looking up the related Wikipedia article.

Surrendering to this change over time, Encyclopedia Britannica has announced that it will stop printing newer versions. They are discontinuing a tradition which has lasted for 244 years. It will now only focus solely on serving up premium web-based content. That model of revenue will also be tested severely, as many people simply do not want to pay for content especially when there are alternatives like Wikipedia.

Rise of Wikipedia!

People create content on Wikipedia voluntarily and all the content is available free on the internet. As the internet has grown, most people simply have not found it practical to by a 32-volume set of books full of information, they can easily look stuff up for free online.

It is also not economical, as a complete set of Encylopedia costs as much as a tablet device if not more. Also most importantly many articles in the printed version become outdated very quickly.

Though books will still be printed on paper for a long time to come, but I do think that newspapers might soon need give up on paper and go completely digital to survive.

What are your thoughts on the future of printed media? Will it survive another decade? Do drop in your comments.

(via Britannica Blog)

Related: The Floppy Disk Drive is Officially Dead!


Sateesh Sajja March 15, 2012

I don’t totally agree with your comment that Newspapers might soon need to give up on paper and go completely digital to survive as there are many people still who prefer to read news on paper than on system…as it is the most convenient, and we cud take the newspaper even to the LOO to read which most of us do and i don’t think its possible to take a system inside to read the digital version of news.

Aditya Kane March 15, 2012

@Sateesh: Interesting point of view. 😀 But the point I was making about newspapers is that people are increasingly consuming News online and through free sources. So they might be less inclined to buy a newspaper say 5-10 years down the line.