From the Editorial Director: Thinking ‘Outside the Book’
Diversification. It's not a new concept, and in fact, it's one of the first things you might learn in business classes. In simple terms, the concept can be summarized by a well-known saying: Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Far too many magazine publishers learned this the hard way, relying almost entirely on ad revenue, which plummeted in 2009 due to the recession and shifts in advertising clients' marketing plans.
Many book publishers, too, are suffering from declining book sales, and confusion over investing in digital content and what the future holds. Others, however, have been plotting a course to diversified revenue streams, relying on book sales as a primary source, but balancing out those sales with other relevant products that serve their audiences—in other words, many baskets of eggs (content).
One such publisher is Scholastic. While known by most as a book publisher, the company doesn't limit itself to serving its audiences through books alone.
For example, Scholastic Media, a division of Scholastic Inc., produces "family-oriented content for a multitude of platforms, including television, feature films, DVDs, video games and websites, and is an award-winning licensor and marketer of children's properties worldwide," according to the company's website.
This strategy for providing a wide variety of products beyond books is not a new one for Scholastic either. As early as 2006, Scholastic launched a multiplatform bilingual television network for children, called qubo, to promote literacy and positive values.
Today, Scholastic Media continues to create new content formats that adhere to Scholastic's education missive, while creating products that engage children in learning (and that bring in revenue for the company). In November 2010, Scholastic announced two new releases for Nintendo DS–"My Amusement Park" and "Digging for Dinosaurs," designed for kids 5 to 8 years old. The games ($19.99 each), of course, integrate learning benefits— "My Amusement Park," for example, includes eight logic games and puzzles, with three levels of difficulty, where players can earn money to build and expand their parks by adding rides, food venues, etc.