January 20, 2022

UK Publishing Has Record 2016, Sales Up 7% to £4.8bn (Ebook Sales Down 3%, Academic/Professional Publishing Up 10% )

Note: As of April 25, 2016 £1 UK equals $1.28/USD

From The Publishers Association:

2017-04-26_20-47-56Figures released today by the Publishers Association shows that 2016 was a record breaking year for the publishing industry with sales of books and journals reaching £4.8bn [$6.16bn/USD], their highest ever level.

The increase in sales of 7% on the previous year is the largest growth in a decade, when in 2007 digital was first included.

Industry growth has been fuelled by success both home and abroad, with export sales rising by 6% to £2.6bn and now responsible for 54% of total revenues.

Highlights include:

  • Overall digital sales up 6% to £1.7bn despite a continuation of the drop in eBook sales down 3%
  • Physical sales up by 8% to £3bn on last year rising to the highest level since 2012
  • Europe remains the largest export market accounting for 35% of exports


  • eBook sales were down by 3% to £538m continuing a trend seen for the first time last year. This was in large part down to a 17% drop in the total consumer eBook market to £204m
  • Total consumer audio downloads continued to perform well up by a further 28% to £16m
  • Total sales of academic/professional digital books were up by 6% to £277m


Overall academic and professional publishing was up by 10% to £2.4bn

  • Publisher sales of academic and professional books rose 9% to £1.1bn
  • Total income from journals rose 10% to £1.2bn
  • Share of journal income from subscriptions fell to 79% while income from Open Access article processing charges increased by 46% to £81m

Read the Complete Publishers Association Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.