The Encyclopedia Britannica is permanently shuttering its hardcovers due to the competition from online research sources such as Wikipedia and similar. So in the next EB is going to be a online version of the encyclopedia, which can be had for a subscription fee of $70 a year and the company recently launched a set of apps ranging between $1.99 and $4.99 per month.
That is a long way from the $1,395 price tag on the 32 volume print edition. The 2010 edition will be the last ever printed, which is to say 12,000 copies were printed, and only 8,000 of them have sold. The other 4k are in a warehouse.
Sales of the print versions make up less than 1% of EB Inc.’s revenue. The Encyclopedia Britannica, which has been in continuous print since it was first published in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1768, will now end publication of its printed editions and continue with digital versions available online.
Wikipedia is today’s online version of EB, roughly speaking and there are 21 million articles in more than 280 languages sprawled across the Wikipedia sphere. The fact that all of this is available for free makes it the crowd’s favourite source for research materials. Sustainability of the site depended largely on donations from the public. When the last fund-raising carried out, the public donated $16 million to the foundation so it can continue doing its good work.
Infographic about Wikipedia – Encyclopedia Britannica