ebrary, the authoritative source for online research, announced an unprecedented joint investment by Random House Inc., Pearson and The McGraw-Hill Companies - three of the world's leading publishing and information services companies. This marks the first time these three market leaders have made a mutual investment in the same company. Terms of the agreement between ebrary and the investors were not disclosed. The ebrary service is scheduled to launch this fall and can be found at www.ebrary.com.
ebrary is creating a rich collection of authoritative and valuable content encompassing books, journals, maps, periodicals and digitally archived material, most of which was previously inaccessible via the Web. Internet users visiting ebrary will gain access to this content without having to obtain a membership or pay subscription fees. ebrary patrons may utilize advanced search technologies to better find the information they need. ebrary's InfoTools plug-in enables researchers to directly access information from the Internet - including definitions, translations, encyclopedic references and maps - to better understand the material they are reading.
ebrary also provides patrons with a new way to acquire information, by enabling the copying of text or printing of pages for a photocopier-like fee. In this manner ebrary provides publishers, authors and information providers with brand new revenues. By increasing the exposure of copyright-protected material, ebrary encourages the purchase of either the physical or electronic version of titles viewed from a choice of online or local bookstores. With the ebrary model, participating publishers and information providers may determine the degree of access and costs associated with each of their titles.
"The fact that this is the first-ever co-investment by three major publishers in this space demonstrates the broad range of support for ebrary's model and philosophy," said Christopher Warnock, chief executive officer of ebrary. "ebrary is now poised, with the help of our partners, to finally make the content of books, periodicals and other traditionally printed documents accessible to everyone on the Internet in a manner that benefits publishers, libraries, booksellers and Internet users, while protecting the authors' copyrights. We are able to do this with the backing and endorsement of each of the biggest publishers and information providers in the trade, professional, and education fields."
Richard Sarnoff, president of Random House Ventures, observed, "By investing in ebrary, Random House Ventures has the opportunity to support, both financially and strategically, a company that will transform the way research is conducted by both scholars and everyday people alike. Its non-subscription, pay-per-use model is unrivalled at digitally delivering copyright-protected content. As a publisher - as well as an investor - we welcome this innovative yet practical approach to making content available to all in digital form, using a model that will also bring our authors additional revenue while safeguarding their copyrights from unauthorized exploitation."
Michael Hehir, president McGraw-Hill Ventures, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, stated, "With nearly all our materials being created digitally, ebrary is another way for The McGraw-Hill Companies to extend its reach and capabilities in servicing customers through the Web. ebrary's innovative technology will allow consumers to easily find, interact with and acquire our information online. Users will find ebrary to be an easy and efficient resource."
Philip Hoffman, president of Pearson Inc. and chief executive officer of Learning Network, the Internet's premier education source, said, "We are investing in ebrary because we see the company playing a big role in the future of digital publishing. ebrary offers major benefits to Penguin Putnam, Pearson Education and our new Learning Network. The company can support our publishing processes, enable us to digitally market our products and protect our copyrights - all maximizing revenues."
ebrary is the first company to combine copyright security, full-text search, innovative reference tools and a rich collection of valuable, authoritative content to revolutionize research on the Web. At ebrary, the user is able to find, view and interact with documents without pre-paying or subscribing to the service. Instead, users pay for the convenience of copying or printing pages, similar in cost and function to a photocopier, to provide a new and familiar means to acquire information. ebrary allows publishers to increase the sale of books through their traditional channels by making their content securely viewable to consumers over the Internet. Working with their existing production workflow, publishers gain control over new eBook and revenue opportunities. Exposure to electronic books, periodicals, maps and archival works virtually increases every library's collection. Libraries may also protect rare and unique documents while expanding accessibility by making their digitized content available through ebrary. Visit ebrary at www.ebrary.com.
About Random House Ventures
Random House Ventures, L.L.C. is Random House Inc.'s wholly owned e-investment subsidiary. Its mandate is to invest in and support online and technology-driven companies that have the potential to reshape traditional publishing concepts, services, and relationships, as well as to complement Random House's longstanding publishing programs. New media spinoffs of Random House's publishing content will also be considered for Random House Ventures.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, Business Week and McGraw-Hill Education. With virtually all its content developed in digital format, the Corporation is using the Internet to transform its business and to capitalize on e-commerce opportunities globally. For example, Standard & Poor's Ratings Direct provides Internet access to key information on over 200,000 financial instruments, and McGraw-Hill Education's PageOut enables over 26,000 college instructors around the world to create custom Web pages for their courses. The Corporation's Construction.com, AviationNow.com and Platts.com are the leading Internet hubs in the construction, aviation and energy fields providing critical content enabling users to do business more effectively. The Corporation has more than 400 offices in 32 countries. Sales in 1999 were $4.0 billion. Additional information is available at mcgraw-hill.com. (www.mcgraw-hill.com).
About Pearson plc
Pearson plc is an international media company. Its major business operations are: The Financial Times Group, which has an international network of business and financial newspapers and online services that are read by millions of business executives and investors every day; Pearson Education, the world's leading education business, which helps teachers teach and students learn at every stage and in every part of the world; Penguin Putnam, which is one of the pre-eminent names in consumer publishing, with an unrivalled range of fiction and non-fiction, bestsellers, and classic titles; and Recoletos, one of the top media companies in Spain. Pearson also owns a 22% stake in the RTL Group, Europe's leading integrated broadcasting and communications group. One of Pearson's most recent initiatives is Learning Network, the Internet's premier education source. For more information, go to www.pearson.com.
For further information
A&R Partners for ebrary