I am pleased to announce that the University Press Content Consortium (UPCC) has broken even in its first full fiscal year. This is a tremendous accomplishment by the MUSE staff, our publishers and the more than 160 libraries that have purchased collections and single titles.
The program has only been in existence for 18 months and we continue to learn a great deal about the evolving landscape of eBooks. We have generated more than $8 million in library sales since January of 2012 with 70% of revenues going to our publishers.
An emerging trend this year has been the preference for current year or 2013 eBook content from our libraries. Sales of collections have been heavily weighted towards 2013 titles this year.
One reason for this is the emergence of customer loyalty. Many of the “early adopter” libraries purchasing collections in 2012 have returned to expand their corpus of UPCC content. Libraries have also expressed to us that they had already purchased older titles in print.
UPCC Publishers will receive smaller payments in the first six months of 2013 as a result of this buying pattern. With 68% of sales focused on current year content, the payments reflect only a fraction of revenues for already published titles and zero revenues for books scheduled to appear later in the year. Year-end payments will recognize the full amount of revenues and are expected to be more substantial.
Usage continues to grow as more institutions purchase collections. Downloads in the first five months of 2013 have surpassed all of the usage in 2012.
In 2014, for the first time we will include titles from the University of California Press, the University of Minnesota Press, the University of Missouri Press, Cornell University Press and several others.
“The UPCC community is now 95 strong and we expect this pathfinding initiative to flourish in the years ahead,” commented Terry Ehling, associate director for content acquisitions and publisher relations.
We continue to monitor the results of our single title program through YBP and are exploring models for Patron Driven Acquisition. We are also thankful for our relationship with the Johns Hopkins University Press. Our colleagues at the Press have provided excellent systems support, market knowledge and guidance as this aspect of our business continues to expand and present exciting opportunities.
Thanks for reading,