Encyclopedia started by Andrew Bell and Colin Macfarquhar, cited as the oldest
available general knowledge English-language encyclopedia started in 1768 in
the Scottish capital of Edinburgh initially in three volumes and later with its
growing popularity further expanded into twenty volumes by its fourth edition
and finally in 2012 when it ceased its printing operation it was producing
thirty two volumes per edition which
contained important data , public figures , historic events , nature , other
topics and which was updated once in every two years.
was leagues ahead from its competitors in its segment but the advent of
internet and digital storage devices such as CD-ROM posed a threat to its sales
figures. During 1995 Britannica was selling around one lac copies of its
encyclopedia which were reduced to around thirty to thirty five thousand.
when Britannica to ceased its printing operations it didn’t came as a shock
because not only Britannica but almost every printing firm has been facing
stiff competitions from their online counterparts (Wikipedia in case of
Encyclopedia Britannica). Some people even commented that Encyclopedia to go
digital was delayed almost a decade!
What is Digital Transformation ?
digital transformation looks different for different organizations, hence it is
difficult to point out one definition which is common across all organizations.
were various organizations that have transformed digitally. Among them one is
Domino’s. Earlier people used to order pizza by coming to the stores. With the
advent of technology it provided customers to place their orders online using smartphones,
smart watches or by using the official websites and through texting emojis. By
letting customers curate their own order Dominos gave its customers options
which otherwise would have been time consuming.
How Britannica Transformed?
CEO of Britannica was
the harbinger of the Digital transformation which led to its going out of print
in 2010. Brittanica understood that merely Digitizing the encyclopedia into
digital format (word, pdf) will not enable it to interact with customer in
different manner and thus it created knowledge platform where knowledge can be
shared in a much interactive way using audio & video.
Interactive quizzes are an example that Britannica has changed the way its
product interacts with customers which has led it to a robust growth over the
the challenges and opportunities of digital technology, it has invested on in recruiting
new talent in areas of marketing, sales and content creation, it has collaborations
with Universities, writers, graphics developer, travel TV companies, and many
other partners like Berkley university, Melbourne university, the Nexus, Fun
and travel TV Australia etc.
distinguishes itself from websites like Wikipedia by quality of its contents,
its legacy, and trust which the quality conscious customers show in its products.
Wikipedia is a user generated and edited website, which provides information
about everything in texts only whereas Britannica presents carefully created
articles which also contain all kind high quality multimedia contents. In an
interview in UK, Feb 2019 MD of Britannica pointed out this difference that “Wikipedia
is a fun site and has lots of interactive entries, but their approach would not
work with Britannica. Both companies have different approach to publishing,
Wikipedia work as Chisel, whereas Britannica is like a drill. And they should
be used differently”.
For targeting mobile users
base specially children, teacher and schools the company is developing
interactive apps, to facilitate the same. It plans to collaborate with Mobile
and hardware companies like Apple, and act as an end to end publisher and
produce educational products like course materials, online library, education
games, Quizzes etc. for educational institutions. Companies sees great
potential in this sector.
In 2012 Company experienced
a 96% fall in the number of books sold as compared to the 1990 Peak publishing
year. After two year of the decision for going 100% online the company racked
more than 102 million visitors in 2014 as compared to 33.5 million visitors in