Update: Improved Explore Billing System

VitalSource is excited to announce significant updates to our automated wholesale billing system, aimed at providing you with greater transparency and clarity over your Explore Invoices. These enhancements will streamline your experience and ensure a smoother billing process.

Starting April 2024, you can expect to receive a revised invoice along with its accompanying supporting document file:

New Code Types

We are introducing three new code types to enhance the clarity of your invoices:

  • explore_wholesale: This code type represents the total sum of all individual assets and subscription prices from a transaction. The institution is responsible for paying the sum of these code prices.
  • explore_wholesale_content: This code type displays the line-item price of each individual asset or subscription from an Explore wholesale transaction. Additionally, the code type displays the content owner of an individual asset or subscription.
  • explore_wholesale_sub_content: This non-billable code type is informational only and provides details of all assets within a subscription.

Additional Improvements

The supporting document file has been updated to align with the standard VitalSource format. Key improvements include:

  • Each Explore wholesale transaction that occurred during the month will now be listed as a separate line item.

  • “Explore Transactions” will be followed by the number of transactions adopted.
    • The transaction number is timestamped (year, month, day) followed by a system-generated number. 
  • The invoice will also show the specific Market company that initiated the transaction under the “Publisher” column.



  • Transaction Number: This is the same transaction number referenced above. This is particularly helpful in situations where an institution has multiple adoptions during a given month.
  • Code type: descriptions referenced above.
  • Distributor: This is the name of the Institution in Manage.
  • Content Owner: This displays the publisher owner of the individual assets within the transaction or subscription(s).
    • Note: The “explore_wholesale” content owner is always the name of the Market company.
  • PO Number: This is the number provided during the transaction completion process and entered by the CSM.
  • SKU: Institutions will now be able to see the VBID of each asset and subscription.
  • Title: This lists the title of each asset.
  • List Price: This is the per-item price of each subscription/individual asset. The “explore_wholesale” list price is the sum of items from their specific transaction.
  • List Price Currency: This displays the currency of each item from the transaction.
  • Distributor Price Total: As mentioned above, this column only shows a value for the “explore_wholesale” line items.


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