End Of An Era of the Day: Encyclopaedia Britannica, the mother of all alphabetized knowledge, will be putting its 244-year-old print business out to pasture effective immediately.
This makes the august encyclopedia publisher’s 32-volume 2010 edition the last of its kind.
“Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now,” said Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. president Jorge Cauz. “The Web site is continuously updated, it’s much more expansive and it has multimedia.”
Indeed, over the last decade, Encyclopaedia Britannica has seen online rival Wikipedia slowly eat away at its market share, with its high-minded notions of free information for all by all.
By comparison, a complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica books will set you back a cool $1,395. Additionally, dead-tree tomes lack the self-correction and expansion features that come standard with Wikipedia, and are increasingly necessary in today’s fast-paced world of the 24-hour news cycle.
Curriculum products for schools have been Encyclopaedia Britannica primary source of revenue since encyclopedia sales peaked at 120,000 in 1990. According to the company, nearly all the other money it makes comes from subscriptions to its website. Print encyclopedias make up less than 1 percent its profits.