How Santillana Argentina increased digital textbooks sales?

Florencia Di Giovanni
digital textbooks

Santillana Argentina is one of the most important educational publishers throughout Latin America. Today, it markets content for all academic levels, thus generating a large community of readers among families, teachers and schools. In addition to paper content, Santillana sells digital textbooks, reaching children and young people of all ages.

Although Santillana Argentina began its digital publishing journey almost 4 years ago, over time, the endeavor has evolved to the point where Santillana sees in their Publica digital textbooks store  an excellent channel of sale to the public.

For Candelaria Pagella, Head of Marketing and Communication at Santillana Argentina, Publica “is very flexible, very practical, light and intuitive. It gives the student and family a digital option beyond the teacher’s decision to use a virtual classroom”.

Regarding how much the industry suffers from piracy, Pagella explains that Santillana is no stranger to facing the unfair photocopy market. Pagella adds that everyone in the publishing industry knows how fast the content is illegally reproduced.

The digital textbook’s role was fundamental for them to demystify the idea that the photocopied book is cheaper. In that sense, it was a great challenge, but they managed to reverse that myth. “The digital book, in many opportunities, or its great majority, is a much lower cost than a photocopy”.


Santillana Argentina’s fast-growing digital textbook sales

In this sense, the global context produced drastic changes in consumption modes. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, millions and millions of citizens in hundreds of countries were forced to lock themselves up in their homes.

In the specific case of Argentina, the presence of classes in educational institutions was interrupted in mid-March. That time is, without a doubt, the highest book sale season: it is when 90% of the sales of the textbooks to be used during the year are concentrated

The industry had to turn to digital books without fear, and for Santillana Argentina, the sale of digital books became the solution. Carlos Albanesi, Commercial Director of the publishing house, highlights the fundamental role of Publica for the excellent development of this new commercial strategy: “If we had not had Publica we would not have been able to provide the service to the educational community that we offer. And by the educational community, we mean everyone, since we were able to attack the directors, approach the teachers and help the families”.

Thus, the publishing house decided to give a service to the community by freeing the first two chapters of 26 titles that are part of its editorial fund. This allowed thousands of students from all education levels to access the first scheduled content, reaching more than 38,000 reading sessions.

But this experience also reflected an exponential growth for the business: During the year 2020 and in the middle of a pandemic, Santillana Argentina grew 322% in sales compared to 2019.

Santillana also added one of the most innovative business models for the publishing industry: the possibility of subscribing to its content. In this regard, Carlos Albanesi is sure: “We see that the business is going directly to subscription” and adds “we know that we have many more opportunities, but we must break our own barriers rather than technological barriers to do so. This new model allows them to unite necessity with convenience.


Do you want to know in-depth on how the use of Publica empowered Santillana Argentina at a critical moment?

Read the complete case study.