Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Advertising in Free Textbooks

Freeload Press, an upstart advertising agency out of St. Pail, Minnesota, is putting advertisements in textbooks so they can distribute the books for free. Students can sign up for the service and download the books from Freeload's Web site.

As a recent college graduate, I know firsthand that textbook prices are completely ridiculous. Many of my friends and I have abstained from buying some books or split the cost with a friend or roommate to save money. The market is ripe if Freeload can deliver the goods.

The company still has a long way to go. It has yet to get a major book distributor onboard, so its current title offerings are limited. However, the ads deliver impressions to an extremely hard to reach and highly targeted demographic. The business model also conquers the problem of outdated textbooks. Normally book stores won't buy back old textbooks when the new version comes out. This process eliminates that problem and benefits from textbook updates because it provides opportunities to sell fresh ads.

So the next time a sleep-deprived college student pulls an all-nighter before the big midterm, they might see an ad for a local coffee house at 3 a.m., when they need it the most.



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