It will soon be the first anniversary of our Institutional Shop, which we announced in November 2007. Institutional sales still form a relatively small proportion of our sale of subscriptions, but they have been an encouraging source of new business.

The system for making an institutional sale is completely automated, and web based. A number of institutions have bought their subscriptions and setup their IP-address based accounts with no intervention or action on our part. We knew that university and college libraries would be interested to subscribe to digital editions of magazines, but we have been pleasantly surprised to find that ministries, NGO’s, businesses and schools are also keen to buy institutional licenses.

I am sure that our success with institutional licenses for magazines is partly attributable to the fact that individuals are buying the magazines for themselves, and then deciding that the digital magazine has good educational potential. There is an important lesson here for book publishers who want to make institutional sales. Make sure that the pricing for a single user is attractive, that way teachers/professors will buy before their institution makes a decision.