Ingram Content Group’s VitalSource Technologies Acquires CourseSmart

03-Mar-2014

NASHVILLE, TN – VitalSource Technologies, Inc., Ingram Content Group’s global leader in building, enhancing and delivering e-learning content, today announced that it has acquired the assets of CourseSmart, a leading provider of digital textbooks in the higher education market.

“We are pleased to make another investment in higher education and technology with the acquisition of CourseSmart,” said John Ingram, Chairman and CEO, Ingram Content Group. “By integrating the strengths of CourseSmart with VitalSource, we are creating an extensive global sales channel for publishers and bringing the best in digital learning technology and accessibility to the higher education community. We are strengthening our services in the higher education market and reinforcing our commitment to helping publishers, institutions, educators and students navigate the evolving landscape of digital learning and succeed by providing them with content in any format.”

CourseSmart’s strengths in inventory, instructor sampling and analytics will be integrated with VitalSource’s reader platform and global, scalable distribution network. By combining the two organizations, VitalSource will offer the world’s largest digital content catalog and provide better digital content solutions for the higher education community.

"CourseSmart was founded by member publishers to improve the distribution of digital learning materials in higher education,” said Will Ethridge, Chairman of CourseSmart. “Since its founding, CourseSmart's innovative services have led the company to become a leading higher education platform for institutions, professors and students to discover, adopt and purchase course materials. By becoming one company, CourseSmart and VitalSource will be able to further accelerate the adoption of digital learning materials to these audiences, while providing more effective distribution and customer relationships for authors and publishers as well."

CourseSmart was founded in 2007 by Macmillan, Cengage Learning, John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson with a simple goal of providing instructors a better textbook evaluation service. The company has since expanded to become a leader in providing digital learning content to the higher education community. CourseSmart has millions of users around the world and offers access to over 90 percent of core higher education titles as e-textbooks along with the largest catalog of e-resources and digital course materials.

“We have worked with VitalSource and CourseSmart, and both companies have added value to our digital learning environment, supporting our unique, competency-based learning model,” said Dr. Robert Mendenhall, President, Western Governors University. “We are encouraged by Ingram’s increased investment in higher education, and we expect the combination of CourseSmart and VitalSource to expand the availability and distribution of digital course materials and curriculums to institutions.”

The company will offer a best-in-class digital content platform and will be committed to pioneering new technologies in areas like accessibility and analytics. It will provide more options for institutions, more inventory for faculty and course designers, and greater scalability for content creators and resellers.

“We have tremendous respect for the work Sean Devine has done in leading CourseSmart,” said Shawn Morin, Chief Operating Officer, Ingram Content Group. “We are pleased that he has agreed to help us shepherd the transition process.”

Customers of both CourseSmart and VitalSource will not experience any immediate changes to their service. All products and services will be maintained and supported until the full system integration occurs.

VitalSource is the largest, most accessible digital content channel in the world. The VitalSource Bookshelf platform is the most used e-textbook delivery platform in higher education with more than 4 million users across 6,000 campuses around the world. It uses the latest technology to enhance the learning experience through e-textbooks and digital education. Content from more than 500 of the world’s top academic publishers is available to VitalSource Bookshelf platform users, including those living with disabilities, on a variety of operating systems and devices. For more information about VitalSource Technologies, visit www.vitalsource.com.

About Ingram
Ingram Content Group (“Ingram”) is comprised of several subsidiaries to Nashville-based Ingram Industries Inc. Ingram includes a comprehensive suite of publishing industry services companies that offers numerous solutions, including physical book distribution, print-on-demand and digital services. Committed to the success of its partners, Ingram works closely with publishers, retailers, libraries and schools around the world to provide them with the right products and services to help them succeed in the dynamic and increasingly complex world of content publishing. Ingram's operating units are Ingram Book Group LLC, Lightning Source LLC, VitalSource Technologies LLC, Ingram Periodicals LLC, Ingram International, Ingram Library Services LLC, Spring Arbor Distributors, Ingram Publisher Services LLC, Tennessee Book Company LLC, and ICG Ventures LLC.

About CourseSmart
CourseSmart is a leading digital content services company and the only provider of digital course materials able to combine curriculum, content and delivery into a single solution. Founded in 2007, the San Mateo, Calif.–based company provides services to four business segments: online direct retail for students; indirect distribution of course materials to students through bookstores; online faculty textbook evaluation services; and institutional solutions for faculty and students that are integrated within campus technology ecosystems. CourseSmart improves the educational experience by offering all users, including those with print–related disabilities, anytime, anywhere access to the course content they need. With more than 90% of the same core titles offered by major print publishers, the company's eTextbooks can be purchased for up to 60% less than the cost of new print textbooks. For more information about CourseSmart, visit the company's Web site at www.coursesmart.com or www.coursesmart.co.uk.