Ingram Plans to Add Enhanced Textbooks to VitalSource

Yesterday Ingram Content Group bought VPG Integrated Media, a developer of enhanced digital textbook apps. Ingram plans to integrate VPG into VitalSource, its digital textbook platform. This will enable VitalSource to produce digital textbooks with richer media, more interactivity, and all around a more useful tool for the student. This is good; current VitalSource digital textbooks aren’t enhanced much beyond a comparable PDF.

“Vital Source has always been a market leader in e-textbooks. The acquisition of VPG puts us even further ahead by giving us the ability to not only deliver but to also enhance
publisher content with rich media and interactive applications, a requirement for educational publishers to succeed in today’s higher-ed environment,” said Kent Freeman, President, Vital Source Technologies, Inc.

Clearly Ingram sees the digital textbook market as hinging on enhanced content, which is itself an interesting detail. Perhaps Ingram sees enhanced content as the way to break the dominance of paper textbooks. Studies have shown that students when all else is equal prefer the print edition. Here’s a way to break the equality.