Encyclopedia Britannica to cease in print

Encyclopedia Britannica to cease in print

Encyclopedia Britannica has ceased to print its 32-volume print edition after 244 years to concentrate on its digital model.

The company said the move was the latest in a trend of making more digital products available and expanding its range of educational products, after its president Jorge Cauz said the company had forseen “the end of the print set” for some time.

A UK spokesman told The Bookseller: “We are soon to release in the UK the subscription app for the iPad and the children's apps are currently trading well. The subscription model is what we are looking at going forward.”  

He added: “In the last four-five years we have noticed the volume of physical sales have dropped off. Print sales are now less than 10% of our operating profit. In 2010, we sold 8,000 print copies down from 120,000 in 1990, for example.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica was first published in Scotland in 1768. Cauz added: “This isn’t about defending ourselves from Wikipedia, but we need to diversify and digitise.”