Monash Study Shows that the "Big 5" Have Destroyed the OC/OU Perpetual Model

Our friends in Australia, the Monash Elending Project, whose pioneering work RF has often cited before, have updated a 2017 study of 100,000 titles with 2019 data. Of particular interest are the 48,794 titles that were published and licensed by the Big 5 publishers. In 2017, 33.8% (16,500) were available in the once-standard One Copy/One User Perpetual License. Two years later, only .4% (199) titles still are.

Please retweet their link, posted above!

It’s not that the OC/OU Perpetual is the only deal libraries want. AS RF has said over and over, a variety of licenses are essential for libraries to be able to use their money wisely and expand our offerings in an increasingly digital world. Taking OC/OU off the table completely, however, jeopardizes long-term access and preservation and commits libraries to perpetual re-ordering.

Publishers, if any of you are listening, here’s a modest proposal from one person. No, it will not be endorsed by every library, or perhaps any, and the suggested price point may be condemned as too expensive by some libraries, but you are obviously concerned about money.

At point-of-sale for first run titles—and no embargoes on libraries, please—you offer us one OC/OU perpetual license at, say, $60. Like Macmillan would have it. You also offer us unlimited licenses of 50 circs at $75, perhaps even with a simultaneous use option. The prices can be adjusted on backlists. You get a known amount per use on the metered licenses. We get some ability to conserve titles and know what we are paying per use. Let’s see how it works.

Can we at least start talking?