Eﬀects of Unbundling
• Bundles artiﬁcially raise total dollar spend in a
• Internet reduces content to its least-frictional
atomic unit, challenging traditional bundlers.!
• Digital markets are smaller than analog markets!
• Challenges cost structure of incumbents —
innovators dilemma surfaces
So, What Is Higher Ed?
• Is it content or distribution? !
• Is it bundled content that will unbundle?
Many Bundles in Higher Ed
Research + Teaching!
Curriculum bundling towards a major/degree!
• As the forces of unbundling take
aim at these traditional packages,
there is always a loser.!
• Businesses built on the
assumption of bundle economics
have a very hard time ﬁnding an
economic model to support their
legacy cost structure
• Predominantly aggregation and distribution?!
• In an unbundled world, distribution changes!
• Content discovery shifting to users/social!
• How best serve host organization’s mission?
• Ultimately, where is their greatest value?!
• Editorial selection?!
• Conferring authority?!
• New aggregators are the social platforms, not the publishers!
• The internet was built to route around congestion. Artiﬁcial
scarcity looks like congestion.!
• Can they deliver world-class experiences to meet consumer
• The internet allows users to be publishers:
• In academia, the user is often the contributor!
• For major topics, distribution/marketing is
• For niche topics, the scholars are connected
• Today, societies are the curators and anoint the
• Online, we see Inﬂuencers conferring authority
by distributing their content !
• Can an online community endow credibility on
• Watch user behavior!
• Incumbents are suing
(Aereo and broadcasters, NYTimes and
• Upstarts are gaining users, routing around
• Some education will unbundle!
• Physical attendance not a requirement for a
• Traditional publishers will experience
• Fundamental changes to role of library - are
they the trusted broker of data?!
• Peer communities will bestow authority on