After 244 years, the print version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica will be discontinued. The 2010 print set which will be the last 32 volume print packed with 44 million words is in store bookshelves now and according to the publisher selling like hot cakes.
Encyclopaedia Britannica’s first volume was published in 1768 to 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland and included only three volumes. Over 4,000 experts including Nobel laureates, curators, professors, historians and other experts contributed to the last print volume which contains more than 65,000 articles and more than 44 million words.
Once sold door-to-door by a fleet of salesmen, the Britannica ran into trouble due to intense competition from online behemoth Wikipedia. The company says that the print version generated only one percent of the company revenue.
The online version first introduced in 1994 and currently generates 15 percent of the company revenue. The Britannica expect to concentrate on the online version and charge $70.00 per year subscription or an App version for $1.99 a month. The younger generation is searching online via Google for free. Wikipedia is always the top choice of this generation. So, it is too early to say whether the new strategy will succeed or not.