January 26, 2010
EBSCO Succeeds in Pushing Exclusivity to Mainstream Magazines in New Deal with Time, Inc. and Forbes
EBSCO announced that the Company have become the exclusive full text content providers for most, if not all of, Time, Inc. and Forbes magazines at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. On LISNews, Andy writes:
Simply put, if you do not have a subscription to EBSCO databases, you will not have database access to current or previous articles. While most of the magazines carry content for free on their websites, there is no guarantee that this practice will continue in the future. This kind of content monopoly is rather disturbing as a threat to information access.
According to this School Library Journal report, this means that EBSCO will be the sole aggregator for such titles as:
- History Today
- Sports Illustrated
- US News & World Report
- Harvard Business Review
- Kiplinger's Personal Finance
- National Review
See also GaleCengage's Open Letter to the Library Community for a strongly worded criticism of the EBSCO deal. Here's a snip:
- EBSCO has a long history of proactively approaching publishers and offering to pay a premium for exclusive rights to distribute their publications in libraries, having done this for more than a decade with academic journals.
- Now EBSCO is pursuing the same strategy with mainstream news and business publications, having recently paid a premium to secure full control over the distribution of two major periodicals publishers: Time Inc. and Forbes.
- Contrary to statements from EBSCO, Gale did bid for this content, offering proposals consistent with our policy against exclusivity. In both proposals, Gale included language that would allow all information providers to retain these titles in their products. Gale also submitted bids well in excess of the publishers' asking price just to keep the content available for all libraries. As stated in our bid, our intent was to license to all vendors with equal terms, without creating an advantage to Gale. EBSCO bid higher, as they were intent on securing this content exclusively for their own products.
- EBSCO made its bid contingent on having the right to exclusively distribute the content in the library market and, as they have stated, they will now be the only provider of these titles, raising the entire cost structure for periodical resources. It should be clearly noted that the publishers did not require this and were happy to allow Gale to sublicense their content to any other information provider, but EBSCO sought exclusivity and was willing to bid a higher price to get it.
Update: EBSCO has responded to the GaleCengage's Open Letter here. [JH]
EBSCO is such a monopolist. I hope somebody stops them.
Posted by: Magazine Subscriptions | Jul 13, 2010 4:49:20 PM