A textbook publisher wants to use NFTs to read the used textbook market

Textbook publisher Pearson has revealed plans to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to track digital textbook sales and effectively “shrink the secondary market” of its digital textbooks.

According to a Bloomberg report on August 1, Pearson CEO Andy Bird wants to put NFTs into its digital textbooks in order to better track sales and capture revenue previously lost in the second-hand market.

Bird hopes the company can use the technology to earn a commission on sales of used textbooks, which are usually done privately from one student to another. Baird noted:

“Technology like blockchain and NFTs allow us to participate in every sale of that particular item as it passes through its life. Possibility to share in downstream revenue […] I find it really interesting.”

He noted that Pearson’s textbook was usually sold seven times over the course of his life.

As Pearson explores his options with blockchain technology to unlock more sale proceeds, Bird added that his company will be looking at ways his company can leverage the Metaverse.

“We have an entire team working on the implications for the metaverse and what that could mean for us.”

The transition to the Metaverse may be profitable in the medium term if the market capitalization of the virtual world is to meet expectations of exceeding $50 billion by 2026.

The London-based publisher is part of a growing group of academic entities researching the Metaverse. Last week, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) launched its first Metaverse semester.

However, the company’s plans to use NFTs were met with some criticism from the community.

Some academics, such as Intel researcher Zane Griffin Talley Cooper decried Pearson’s “predatory academic publication”, though he acknowledged that this “potentially moves NFT technology.” In his book August 2 tweet“We have to watch these things carefully,” Cooper added.

Others say that Pearson’s supposed plans for NFTs do not actually use NFT technology at all.

“NFT is just a buzzword here,” technology analyst Ian Cutress said in a tweet on August 2nd, and what Pearson calls NFT is just a token that user buyers have to pay to activate their digital books. .

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Pearson is already one of the largest publishers in the world with revenues of $4.2 billion in 2021. Their textbooks are used in high schools, colleges and universities around the world.

The company is on track to beat that number in 2022 with first-half revenue of $2.2 billion, and profits up 14% to $208.7 million in the same period according to The Telegraph on August 1.