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Disrupting the Market, Sustaining Our Business

Here’s the latest update from Erin Joyner, Senior Vice President of Product Management for Higher Education.

While market share of US higher education publishing companies has changed little during the last several years, the overall industry continues to see declining sales due to student affordability and access issues.


In fact, about 20% of higher education students chose not to purchase any recommended learning materials for their courses in Fall 2017, largely because of cost concerns. With Cengage Unlimited, we have a better opportunity to engage with those students, as well as gain new customers who want high-quality learning solutions at a more affordable price.


Marketplace Trends


These charts, illustrating recent trends in higher education publishing, indicate that we need a new way to get high-quality learning course materials into the hands of students.



 Based on MPI data, during the past five years, sales of Higher Education course materials have declined by approximately 24%. A major contributing factor to this decline is the rising cost of course materials. With Cengage Unlimited, we offer students a solution – more affordable, high quality, course materials so they no longer have to choose between purchasing the course materials that they need to be successful or going without. Cengage, in partnership with our authors, will achieve success with Cengage Unlimited if we can capture a greater share of this market by leading with more affordable, high-quality learning solutions.




This chart illustrates a real-life Cengage course. In this example, Cengage has an approximate 20% share, though 12% of that share is not monetized by Cengage as students either buy used or do not buy the book. The remaining 80% share is open. Leading with Cengage Unlimited where students can access high-quality learning materials at an affordable price, Cengage aims to capture as much of this available share as possible. If we are able to do this, Cengage, in partnership with our authors, will be on track to achieve success with Cengage Unlimited.

Cengage Unlimited provides substantial opportunity for Cengage and our authors to directly engage with students by addressing their basic affordability concerns, while providing superior content to meet their learning needs. We will further create a more sustainable and stable business model for Cengage and our authors, and position ourselves to better serve students, faculty and institutions.


If you have any questions about this or anything else, please reach out to us at


I hope you do a better job on our royalty calculations than on this graph and narrative.  The pie chart shows you have 20% of the market for the sample course and the narrative says Cengage has 40%.



Thanks so much for catching that that error.  I just updated the post.