B&N Ed Retires Its Digital Textbook Platform, Replaces It With VitalSource

4087348778_60517af9bc_oFollowing two years of torturing students with a mostly non-functional platform, B&N Education announced on Tuesday that it was throwing in the towel.

The company announced in its quarterly filing that it was shutting down Yuzu and replacing it with a rebranded Vitalsource:

The Company has established a long-term relationship with VitalSource, a global leader in building, enhancing and delivering digital content. This collaboration will allow the Company to significantly lower its future digital expenses. “Our relationship with VitalSource will provide for a seamless transition with a Yuzu branded product, ensuring students continue to have an excellent digital reading experience and access to a broad digital catalog,” said Mr. Roberts.


Great. This is a platform which should never have been inflicted on students. It was slow, never worked well, and frequently crashed just when students needed it the most.

B&N should have killed it a year ago, or even better never released it in the first place, but at least they are finally correcting their mistake.


In related news, the other B&N is also killing off digital platforms this month. The retail half of B&N announced last week that it is shutting down the Nook App Store and Nook Video, and pulling out of the UK ebook market.

image by Edsel L

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. puzzled8 March, 2016

    Will the last one out of the building please turn off the lights…

  2. fjtorres8 March, 2016

    B&N Education is a separate company by now, right?
    It’s hard go keep up with B&N’s broken field running…

    1. Nate Hoffelder8 March, 2016


    2. Timothy Wilhoit9 March, 2016

      BNED. It lost 15% of its value yesterday after the FQ3 results. The reports were less than stellar.

      1. fjtorres10 March, 2016

        And that was supposed to be the profitable side of B&N. No wonder they backtracked on the plan to saddle them with Nook.

        1. Nate Hoffelder10 March, 2016

          Well, I pointed out a while ago that it really wasn’t any healthier than the retail division. So this doesn’t surprise me.

  3. […] Barnes & Noble Education announced it will replace its digital textbook platform Yuzu with VitalSource. […]

  4. Richard Knox15 March, 2016

    Great move by BNED. This connects the dots between the student buying their own books through BN College stores and the great functionality of the VitalSource App and Platform. They also reap the benefits of Ingram’s CourseSmart programming (kudos to Gary Clarke) which is inside VitalSource. Both BNED and Ingram are stronger because of the deal.

  5. Matthew Parkins27 August, 2016

    B&N failed to mention that Yuzu books purchased through B&N affiliated institutions only work on IOS or Android devices and are unavailable within the Vitalsource Bookshelf which runs on Microsoft devices, unless purchased a second time through Vitalsource.

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